Most of my professional life is devoted to working with companies to help them go from the realm of the ordinary into the rare-air of extraordinary. Which brings me to Lufthansa.
As I write this blog, I’m flying from Norway to Kuwait, via Frankfurt. On a 3 week speaking tour. Lots of hotel rooms, time zones and lengthy airline flights. As a professional traveller, I’ve seen the service/quality/user experience on many airlines plummet. Many flights are cautionary tales, revealing how to lose friends, and de-influence people. Yet, my love affair with Lufthansa continues.
It started a few years ago on a flight from Asia to Europe. I woke up to hand squeezed orange juice and a fresh flower placed in a special holder built into my seat. Now, every opportunity I get, I go with this carrier. They treat me well, so I want them to win.
And on this flight, their exceptionalism continues. To be tactical, here are the four simple reasons why:
1. THE CREW: Passionate employees means happy customers. To a person, the crew on this flight operated at the highest level of professionalism and service. Their uniforms were impeccable. Their manners superb. Their smiles contagious. Sure it’s an old line but one flight attendant said: “I made this meal at home. It took a lot of work. I hope you like it.” I did. (How easy it is to forget that if you have merely good people, you’ll have a good business. To have a great business, you have to develop great people).
2. THE CABIN: The German engineering mastery is obvious on this aircraft. The seats offer many different positions that allow this long flight to be pure comfort. The lighting is excellent and on target (unlike another carrier I know whose overhead lighting system doesn’t even fall on reading material placed on tray tables). The in-flight media system offers the best programming I’ve seen. The headphones are built by Sennheiser (versus the fifty cent ones on most flights). And you could eat dinner off the floor, it’s that clean (oh, and the blankets are of an excellent cotton versus that thin, itchy wool that some airlines offer – without even cleaning them for the next passenger; Lufthana’s blankets are perfectly cleaned and shrink wrapped for each passenger).
3. THE FOOD: Don’t get me started on airline food. Hard to believe the caliber of what some firms are offering the guests who keep them in business. Lufthansa is different. My first course salad was uber-fresh. Great dressing. Main course was excellent – prepared by a famous German chef. And dessert was a delicious fruit concoction.
4. THE GIFT: Lufthansa creates what I call Last Mile Excellence. What makes a truly great customer experience is not just how you start the ride but how strong you finish it (final impressions endure, don’t they?). At the end of the flight, I was left with a special gourmet cookie and a specially branded booklet inside a neatly-designed container. A neat gift. Just to create further wow. The booklet had all the recipes of the meals served, creations of Michelin starred chef Lea Linster. And was labelled “My Recipes for You”.
As I left the plane, the attendant said: “We hope you enjoyed the flight. Have a lovely evening. And we’d love to see you again.” She will. For sure.
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