This paper will identify and discuss the Qantas Airways customer wants. It will also discuss the gaps between customer service and communication and ways to improve the delivery of customer service.
The Airline industry has significantly grown, and consequentially increased competition among the airlines. To gain a competitive advantage, various airlines have a focus on offering excellent customer services to their customers. More attention has been diverted to service quality since this determines customer attraction and retention. Essentially in the service sector, customers are incorporated into the service delivery process. This process is characterized by customers’ direct interaction with the airline’s employees (Tsai, Hsu, & Chou, 2011). The service sector is one of the most critical aspects of the company such that they must ensure that they provide the appropriate standard of service quality to establish a right image and reputation for the company as well as to attain high customer loyalty. Qantas Airways is one of the largest Australian based airlines, which is more concerned with customer service so to meet the needs of the customers. To ensure that suitable customer service is offered, it is apparent that communication is established between customers and the employees of the airline. Therefore, it is essential to look into the relationship between customer service and communication between customers and employees to achieve excellent customer service and customer satisfaction (Jiang & Zhang, 2016). Customer want convenience and their needs met, and Qantas Airways has strived to provide customer service at its best to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors (“Qantas AU,” n.d.). Despite having customer service in the airline, there still exists a gap between customer service and communication between customers and employees. This paper will identify and discuss the customer wants. It will also discuss the gaps between customer service and communication and ways to improve the delivery of customer service.
When it comes to service design, customers value convenience. Customers would like to be served conveniently and get their needs met without any inconvenience. Right from ticket booking to customer service in the airplane until they arrive at their destinations, customers would like everything to go smoothly without inconveniencing them in any way. Customers want to be given tickets in time and to easily access ticket booking online at the comfort of their homes (Jiang & Zhang, 2016). The customers also want to have readily available avenues of raising complains or inquiries when need be. They want a reliable customer care avenue that responds instantly to their concerns or queries. It is also of great need among customers that their time is saved. The customers expect the company to offer fast services that do not compromise their schedules (Jeeradist, Thawesaengskulthai, & Sangsuwan, 2016). Customers also want reliability and protection of their personal information. Every customer would like their data to be kept confidential and also to protect their online transactions from being hacked. However, Qantas service design entails accessible Qantas airway website whereby customers log into to search services and destinations of their choice. Tickets are booked online (“Qantas AU,” n.d.). Essentially, the customer has more control and enjoys the convenience of getting served by using the convenient and accessible system. Generally, customers anticipate a cost-effective e-service that is convenient and dependable.
There exist a gap between what is being offered in the airline and what the customers want from the airline’s service sector. The customers’ needs keep increasing, and even though there is active customer service in place, there seems to be a gap between employee competence and communication to customers. There is a clear correlation between employees’ expertise and communication to the customers as fundamental service quality attributes which are attributed to the lowest customer satisfaction (Min & Min, 2015). This shows that a wide quality service gap can be determined from these two attributes. In line with Qantas airline, it can be deduced that there is a quality gap that exists between employee competence and communication to customers. Despite having an efficient customer service system in place, the employee incompetence and improper communication to customers have created a wide gap. On-board catering, effective communication, on-board entertainment, and punctuality are attributes that promote quality service delivery (Singh, 2016). In the service sector, the quality of service in catering and entertainment in Qantas’ flight are ranked low. These are among the fundamental needs that customers want and therefore needs to be improved by the airline. This means that the gap between the existing and the expected catering and entertainment service is wide. The attribute of punctuality in the delivery of services is less satisfactory to the customers. Therefore, punctuality in the delivery of services needs to be considered.
Application of operations principles to improve service delivery
To improve employee competency and communication to customers in Qantas airline, employee training can be applied. Employee training is essential in teaching and equipping employees with fundamental skills and attributes that will make them very competent and have excellent customer service skills (Lee, Patterson, & Ngo, 2017). Training will allow employees to note the importance of communicating to customers and also learn effective ways of communicating to customers. This will help in serving the needs of the customers effectively. Through employee training, service delivery will improve, and effective communication to customers will be achieved.
Service delivery can also be improved by implementing and ensuring regular quality control in every service offered in the airline. The service sector is critical to the airline’s performance; it would be essential to implementing quality control which monitors and evaluates employees’ service delivery (Ganiyu, 2016). This measure ensures the services delivered to customers meets the customer needs and are of high quality. Quality control will also solve the issue of punctuality in service delivery. With quality control in place, employees will be forced to deliver services in time and fast.
Due to the increasing and changing customer needs, Qantas airline should undertake capacity planning to determine whether it has adequate staff or facilities that can handle the customers (Franceschini & Mastrogiacomo, 2018). This will help in identifying any deficiency either in terms of the number of employees or service design. If the company has a small number of employees that cannot manage the increasing number of employees, capacity planning will help to identify this so that employees can be increased to match the number of customers (Ghotbabadi, Feiz, & Baharun, 2015). As a result, service delivery will improve, and customers’ needs addressed efficiently.
To sum it all, the service sector is a critical aspect of Qantas airline, just like any other company. To gain a competitive advantage, Qantas must focus on improving its service delivery so that it can meet the customers’ needs efficiently. Customers have specific needs, and the company should aim at meeting these needs by improving customer service. All in all, to improve customer service delivery further, Qantas can apply operational principles which include; quality control, employee training, and capacity training.