Another winning year for Southwest

People do not often associate positive emotions with air travel.  The ever-longer list of fees isn’t helping matters, either.  Fees for each bag, fees to sit in one row instead of a another, fees to sit on an aisle instead of the middle, …. Then after the fees, customers experience long lines, cancelled flights and cramped cabins, increasing customers’ frustration and disappointment.

Southwest Airlines must be smiling about the way competitors are handling themselves, making customers’ lives more uncomfortable in order to squeeze out a few more dollars here and there.  Because Southwest does things differently, striving to add positive emotional touches to various steps of the customer journey. Whether it’s a singing stewardess or a variety of free snacks in flight, these little touches make customers feel cared for and important, emotions the competition lacks.   Even Southwest’s logo, a heart between two wings, shows that emotions are really at the core of this company’s mission. Southwest’s strategy has paid off.  Not only have they topped the airline satisfaction charts for 17 years straight, but their stock performance has outpaced their industry as well. While other major airlines have had to declare bankruptcy or close entirely in the past few years, Southwest continues to grow.   You’d think by now that the other airlines would take a cue from Southwest!

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