“Our people are our single greatest strength and most enduring long-term competitive advantage,” reports CEO Gary Kelly on the Southwest Airline website (https://www.southwest.com/html/about-southwest). The company works hard to hire great individuals and then rewards and supports them to make satisfied, productive employees (Ross & Beath, 2007). In fact, Southwest Airlines has received repeated recognition as a great place to work (“Southwest Corporate Fact Sheet,” n.d.). As a result, Southwest Airlines is able to provide a low-cost, fun-cultured experience with excellent customer service (Ross & Beath, 2007). This has allowed the company to build its final strength in this evaluation: a strong brand
Since 1987, when the Department of Transportation began tracking Customer Satisfaction statistics, Southwest has consistently led the entire airline industry with the lowest ratio of complaints per passengers boarded. Many airlines have tried to copy Southwest’s business model, and the Culture of Southwest is admired and emulated by corporations and organizations in all walks of life. Always the innovator, Southwest pioneered Senior Fares, a same-day air freight delivery service, and Ticketless Travel. Southwest led the way with the first airline web page—southwest.com, DING, the first-ever direct link to Customer’s computer desktops that delivers live updates on the hottest deals, and the first airline corporate blog, Nuts About Southwest. Our Share the Spirit community programs make Southwest the hometown airline of every city we serve.
What is particularly impressive about Southwest Airlines is that the company has been consistently profitable every year since 1973. This is mostly due to its eager pursuit of low operating costs, low fares, and customer-pleasing service. Also, Southwest has consistently led the entire airline industry with the lowest ratio of complaints per passengers boarded. The company started out at the bottom and worked its way up through industry ranks to become a major competitive force in the domestic segment of the U.S. airline industry. The company was able to overcome industry downturns, dramatic increases in the prices of jet fuel, falloffs in airline traffic due to terrorist attacks and recessions, while other airline companies are in debt or have gone bankrupt. Also, not only were they able to overcome these threats, but they continued to add more and more flights to more and more airports overtime. The major reason for their continued success seems to be due to their low-cost model and strong emphasis on employee and customer satisfaction.
The airline industry has become more and more competitive over the years. It takes determination, preparation, knowledge, and recourses to start an airline company, and that is just what happened forty-five years ago in Dallas Texas. Southwest Airline is a very successful airline company serving around 100 million customers annually (Southwest Corporate Fact Sheet). Many things stick out about Southwest such as their satellite-based WIFI and free luggage. These accommodations appeal to the customers. The company describes its mission as “dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit” (About Southwest). From a customer standpoint, there is nothing else
Since Southwest Airlines offers low fares for its passengers, it is a huge opportunity for the company due to the economic changes. Since the low economy, more consumers are searching for low fares due to the inability to afford expensive tickets and long
Other airlines approached the economic crisis by limiting their service or letting go of employees, whereas Southwest tackled the problem by offering workers secured positions for lower wages. Though the circumstances were not ideal, overall employees responded positively to the option of keeping their jobs. They also promote internal marketing strategies within the workplace. Southwest has a clear vision which employees strive to be a part of. In fact, part of their vision is in the best interest of their employees, as a common mantra within the company is, “customers come second… and still get great service.” They offer a casual work environment. This approach not only benefits the employees comfort, but also coincides with the company’s easy-going brand image it wishes to portray. Employees are at ease in at their job and overall enjoy what they do. Southwest also makes a point to attract the desirable candidates for their positions. They emphasize teamwork. Employees are encouraged to help each other out to strive toward a common goal. Employees are often rewarded for their achievements as well. As seen in exhibit 1, these strategies to keep employee satisfaction high, are factors that keep loyal employees within the company.5 Southwest makes every attempt to keep employees content as they believe happy employees lead to happy customers. Southwest has
According to the textbook, he believed the company should, “hire for attitude and train for skills.” Kelleher recognized that the key to satisfied customers was satisfied employees and put many policies in place in attempt to improve employee satisfaction. Some policies include employee recognition programs and “Hokey Days,” and star of the month program featuring outstanding employees in Southwest Airlines magazine Spirit. The company has other programs that continues to try to make Southwest Airlines an enjoyable place to work.
The Southwest Airlines company and its culture is one that is often cited in today 's business classes. The airline is widely known to be “different” compared to many of its competitors, a result of its founding values and strong corporate culture. This culture developed early in Southwest’s history and was deeply entrenched due to the competitiveness of the airline industry, as well as due to some of the pressures experienced as a result regulatory issues and stiff competition.
Southwest Airlines is one of the most successful airlines in the United States. There has never been layoffs or strikes in the history of the company, although there were several times when layoffs could have been justified, including the months following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. However, Southwest's Mission statement says “Above all, Employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer.” (Southwest, 1988). The Airline has always believed that their corporate culture is one of the keys to their success. The culture recognizes that employees have emotional intelligence and that their attitudes and morale are key to the teamwork and creative environment.
providing a more professional service. Instead, southwest everyone always treat employees properly with their hearts, and they do it not because the company requires them to, but because they want to. This is part of the spirit of the Southwest.
Even though Southwest offers no-frills, there is still a high degree of customer satisfaction that continuously builds customer loyalty for the company. As mentioned, Southwest offers low prices on their airplane tickets. Also, Southwest is renowned in the airline industry for its short turnaround time on arrivals and departures. And since people's biggest concern nowadays is money and time, having low price airline tickets to cater their traveling needs in a shorter period of time will surely satisfy them. Moreover, aside from the low prices offered, what attracts to customers is Southwest’s way in dealing with them. The employees of the airline treat their customers well and really listen to their needs.
There are few things that are impressive about Southwest Airlines first one is how they treat the employees. For Southwest Airlines employees are first and customers are second. If the employees are treated well that will bring in happy customers. Next is that Southwest is not only with their low prices but is able to create a competitive advantage by offering a fun and humorous experience when flying. Finally another impressive fact is when Herb Kelleher’s retire from CEO position yet remained a Southwest employee till July 2014. Even after the retirement he was still active with the Southwest Airlines that reflected his enthusiasm and dedication for the
If the short haul passenger was the backbone of Southwest Airlines success, then their 737s were the lifelines that supported it. By choosing the 737 as the airplane for all of Southwest's flights, the company saved time and resources in training its employees. The crew could be easily substituted for one another due to the extensive training on the 737. Low costs and, therefore, low fares are an enormous competitive advantage, when combined with their high-quality and loyal workforce. A very unique culture was found at Southwest Airlines among all of its employees.
Southwest's current strategy is to position itself as a cost leader with a focus strategy. The company's management and employees aim to cost-effectively and reliably fly large number of customers on short, non-stop flights, and to have fun doing it. They are devoted to making flying available to everyone. The company has been successful in implementing this strategy, having experienced strong growth and profitability. Southwest is now the 5th largest carrier in the U.S. in total customers. It has operated profitably for 24 consecutive years in an industry with a volatile earnings history. The main strategic issue facing Southwest at this time is to evaluate this strategy and determine its future course of action.
I can offer American Airlines a person that is loyal, committed to hard work, dedicated and is willing to go well beyond my responsibilities to achieve the goals and tasks at hand. I am committed to not only doing my job effectively but efficiently as well. I look forward to helping others when needed. I was always told, “teamwork makes the dream work” and by positively collaborating with others, goals can be achieved.