Southwest Airlines is one of the most customer centric companies of 2016 per customerguru.in. If we look at their mission statement you could tell: “Dedication to highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride and company spirit.” Southwest Airlines goal is to make every journey an unforgettable one and with this they have achieved a very loyal customer base. I will go through Southwest’s customer centric business model by emphasizing on the efficiency criteria joint profitability discussed in class. So, I will look through Southwest Airlines business model by finding out if the system design is maximizing the joint pay offs of the partners involved (CCDC, 2017).
Southwest Airlines understands that happy employees will guarantee happy customers. “Our people are our single greatest strength and most enduring long-term competitive advantage’’ (southwest.com). So, it is not surprising that the employees stay with the airline even though they are paid less compared to other airlines. Before you can be customer centric you must be employee centric is what turns out here. Competitive prices, free checked luggage, and friendly employees are what they are also known for but Southwest reputation is at its best when things don’t go well. That’s when their good system is in place. An experience many Southwest Airlines passengers could recall is when the gate-agent of already book tickets for the next flight to their destination when the they were supposed to fly was grounded due to bad weather conditions. Even before you requested it. What was supposed to be an inconvenience turned out to be a moment of pleasant surprise for the customer. This is all the joint profitability is about: with emphasizing on customer happiness they create a loyal customer base which, in the end, will result in more revenue.
So, Southwest Airlines sees the importance of moving from a tactical to a more strategic approach of customer participation and this is critical for all their forms of social marketing. Southwest Airlines could embrace social business as a natural evolution of their business model, because they have always been customer-centric. Southwest Airlines, at least relative to their peers, have always viewed themselves as “agents of the customer,” focusing first on creating superior customer value, while understanding that profit is one outcome of successfully creating customer value. Companies that pursue any social business initiative as another tactic to improve shot-term profitability, are increasingly at risk, given the exponential increase in customers’ access to information. Southwest Airlines has done a great job with enhancing information and participation with their customers and, thus, creating a top of the bill customer centric business model.