In today’s economy selling goods or services has made way for selling experiences in more than one branch. Companies are no longer looking for a one time sell, but they want to engage with their customers and offer them an extraordinary experience, so that customer will want to come (and keep coming) back. As the article by Pine and Gillmore, 1998 (1) states: “As goods and services become commoditized the customer experiences that companies create will matter most”. In this blog I will discuss the flight experience from Singapore Airlines, as they claim: “All around the world you’re a great way to fly”. Even though this might not give customers an as straightforward experience as the Rainforest Café or Planet Hollywood does, it still provides customers with the sensation of an experience instead of a service.
First of all, the services they provide to their customers on flight (2):
- Video screen with an USB port and entertainment control (to watch new release movies on);
- Newspapers (including Singaporean daily: the straits times) available at boarding;
- Every seat has its own pillow and blanket, an inflight travel magazine, entertainment guide, duty-free catalogue and a safety guard;
- 32 inch seat pitch;
- Several hot towels;
- On each Singapore airlines flight from and to South Korea several native Korean speakers are crewed to facilitate as language translators;
- Mood changing light colours;
- Inflight Wi-Fi in authorised countries;
- Free (loan) headsets and postcards;
- Amenity kits (dental kit and socks) and restaurant like menus;
- AC power ports;
- Several free drinks, a packet of roasted peanuts and several meals including snacks and fruit;
- Lavatory stocked with mouthwash, moisturising hand lotion and eau de toilette;
- Excellent service.
These are all profound services, which only the best airlines offer. But the biggest part of their experience is the Singapore girl, one of the world’s most recognisable brand icons. She wears a traditional and elegant sarong kebaya and is the embodiment of grace and Asian hospitality. To reinforce their experience they use her not only in commercials but also on the flights itself as a stewardess (2).
James Boyd, Singapore Airlines’ VP of communications said (3): “The Singapore airlines experience is essentially about a level of privacy, luxury and service that maintains what we look back on as the Golden Age of travel, something only some remember. That is what we strive to create and maintain. It is our philosophy, our goal, and we’re very fortunate that customers have responded in kind” 1.
Singapore Airlines has tried to enhance its experience even further and changed its advertising campaign. As can be seen in the commercial: “The length we go to”, in which they showcase their extraordinary efforts to create a comfortable experience for passengers. They turn the focus to the processes that they go through to provide such a superior experience (4).
Even though Singapore Airlines is not a textbook example of an experience supplier, they do everything in their power to make their services appear to be an extraordinary experience. Their happy customers did not only find their flight pleasant, but they even found it enjoyable and experienced pleasure due to the great care and comfort (5). So all around the world, they áre a great way to fly!
1) Pine, B. Joseph II and James H. Gilmore (1998), “Welcome to the Experience Economy,” Harvard Business Review, 76 (4), 97-105.
1 The Golden age is the time of the glorious Pan-Am, a classy airline that offered top service.
Savannah Heijtmeijer (341373)