The "Southwest Way" of creating unique customer experiences

You may have already seen it on YouTube or in your local media; the hilarious video of the Southwest Airlines flight attendant entertaining their travellers on a flight to Salt Lake City recently.

The clip show how excellent the employees of Southwest live up to their values and promises. To create a great Customer Experience or even create Customer Delight, you need unique staff that are encouraged and empowered to do things their own way and create unique memorable moments.

- We like to think of ourselves as a Customer Service company that happens to fly airplanes (on schedule, with personality and perks along the way).

Southwest Airlines is a business where this way of thinking and working is rooted in their values and culture. The company is funded very much on emotional values to secure customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty, and through this secure value for both these groups as well as the share-holders. Just take a look at their Purpose, Vision and Mission statements:Swa

Our Purpose is to:  Connect people to what's important in their lives through friendly, reliable, low-cost air travel.

Our Vision is to:  Become the World's Most Loved, Most Flown and Most Profitable Airline.

- Southwest Airlines' number one priority is to ensure the personal Safety of each Southwest Customer and Employee. Beyond this, we follow "The Golden Rule," meaning that we treat each other the way we want to be treated, which is why doing the right thing by our Employees and Customers is so inherent to who we are as a Company. We believe in Living the Southwest Way, which is to have a Warrior Spirit, a Servant's Heart, and a Fun-LUVing Attitude. Within each of these categories are specific behaviours to help us be a Safe, profitable, and a Fun place to work. 

Live the Southwest Way

So what does it really mean to "Live the Southwest Way"? And watch out; here there's a lesson to be learnt for most companies today:

Warrior Spirit

  • Work Hard
  • Desire to be the best
  • Be courageous
  • Display urgency
  • Persevere
  • Innovate

Servant's Heart

  • Follow The Golden Rule
  • Adhere to the Principles
  • Treat others with respect
  • Put others first
  • Be egalitarian
  • Demonstrate proactive Customer Service
  • Embrace the SWA Family

Fun-LUVing Attitude

  • Have FUN
  • Don't take yourself too seriously
  • Maintain perspective
  • Celebrate successes
  • Enjoy your work
  • Be a passionate Team player

Work the Southwest Way

  • Safety and Reliability
  • Friendly Customer Service
  • Low Cost

 All this is used to build a successful winning culture valuable to customers, employees and owners.

- Our people are our single greatest strength and most enduring long term competitive advantage.
Gary Kelly, CEO Southwest Airlines

Now enjoy the video