SIA: A Glimpse of its Superior Customer Service and People Management


Singapore International Airlines (SIA) is among the top 50 most admired companies in 2011 and ranked as No.1 in the airline industry. Here is a summarize of interesting articles that can provide some insights into its superior customer service and people management.

SIA is so superior that it leaves other carriers in its vapor trails. The positive experience on SIA makes the Air Passenger’s Bill of Rights completely unnecessary.

How does SIA create this experience? It places the needs of passengers first and offers service above and beyond the ordinary. Even in economy class, the experience is unforgettable. Pillows and blankets are carefully placed on every seat. Once in the air, smiling attendants offer champagne or orange juice, and carefully avoid smashing passenger’s body parts with their carts! Passengers receive a kit containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, and special socks for the trip. At the beginning and the end of each flight, passengers receive hot towels to freshen up.

One of the primary reasons Singapore Airlines provides superior service is because they only hire people that enjoy a service role–enjoy serving others. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand the more time an organization invests in finding, hiring, and training employees, the more successful the organization becomes. Because SIA has spent extra effort and energy in creating alignment between employees and the company, employees take pride in what they do.

For more content, please read Six Secrets of Superior Customer Service Singapore International Airlines

Profitable every year since the beginning, Singapore Airlines (SIA) frequently wins international awards for top customer service and in-flight quality. Here’s how they do it:

1. Clarity and Commitment.
SIA’s focus on service is absolutely clear. The mission statement and core values established, without question, that quality service to customers is a fundamental objective and aspiration of the airline.

Every major issue, question, or decision is considered in light of their commitment to providing world-class customer service.

2. Continuous Training.
Training is not a one-time affair. SIA understands that daily customer contact can be draining and that customer expectations are always on the rise.

To meet this challenge, four training divisions within the company (Cabin Crew, Flight Operations, Commercial and Management Development) offer a wide range of inspiring and demanding educational programs.

Whether in the classroom, through full-scale simulations or on the job, SIA staff members are continually motivated to upgrade, uplift, and improve their performance.

For more content, please read How Does Singapore Airlines Fly So High?

Emotional labor is an essential component in almost any job today. It refers to the requirement of expressing particular emotions at work to maximize organizational productivity (Nancy Langton, Emotional Labour, 2007). For example, even if an employee is having a bad day at home, he or she should still display professionalism at work instead of letting his or her emotions take over. This is especially crucial for jobs in the service industry because these jobs have direct contact with their main stakeholder, the customers. In fact, customers have become more demanding over the years due to the ease of finding alternatives. Customers are having high expectations when they are paying for a service. As such, companies must attempt to provide outstanding service so that their customers will remain loyal to them. With that in mind, we will be looking at how the employees in two companies, i.e. Singapore International Airlines and Air Canada within the same competitive airline industry can be so different in delivering emotional labor. We would also be touching on various theories that explain why some employees can display more emotional labor than others.

For more content, please read Emotional Labour in SIA and Air Canada

Interestingly, there is always some opposite voice existing.

SINGAPORE Airlines top brass met leaders from the five SIA unions yesterday for what sources said was a discussion on flagging morale at the national carrier.

The closed-door morning meeting, involving SIA chairman Koh Boon Hwee, chief executive Chew Choon Seng and union officials, was an indication that a recent spate of resignations has raised concerns among management.

It is not clear who initiated the talks, but The Straits Times understands that the meeting, which lasted a few hours, centered on the low morale among staff.

‘Morale is very bad and all of us are concerned because we care about the company. The unions were called in to see how they can assist in this area,’ a source said.

Morale has apparently been affected by the 5 to 16.5 percent wage cuts which followed the Sars outbreak; the retrenchment of nearly 600 staff; and the release of another 145 on special retirement packages.

For more content, please read Low Morale at Singapore Airlines – Article in The Straits Times

Written by:

Scott Friedman

Scott Friedman, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) and former President of the National Speakers Association (NSA), is an internationally sought after professional speaker and author. As a motivational humorist, Scott inspires and entertains with engaging, interactive, and content-rich programs. Scott’s main areas of expertise are employee innovation & engagement, customer experience, and creating a happier, more connected workplace and life.

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