I’m in the Phoenix airport and noticed this American Airlines sign at one of the gates that says “I am the Customer Experience.”
Naturally, this sign caught my eye. If this is part of a broader effort around employee engagement, then it could be a sign that American Airlines is heading in the right direction. To test how embedded this message was in the hearts and minds of employees, I went up to the first American Airlines employee that I found and “innocently” asked him what the sign meant. His answer:
“I don’t know; it’s just a promo they’re running.”
My take: First of all, I recognize that this is not a statistically significant sample size. So I can’t say that this one response is representative of the larger population of American Airlines employees (although I have a hunch that it is).
But if this is how many employees would respond, then it represents a common issue that I see where companies treat customer experience as a superficial marketing campaign. They think that they can somehow convince customers that they are customer-centric.This is a type of marketing approach that I call “empty promises.”
Compare this to JetBlue’s approach with its “Happy Jetting” campaign.
Marketing efforts, internal or eternal, are most successful if they ring true to their target audience. If American Airlines was actually working with its employees to engage them in a corporate-wide effort to improve customer experience, than a sign like this might be effective. But if it’s an isolated campaign to convince people that American Airlines is more customer-centric than it is, then it’s a truly bad idea. Employees and customers just see another empty promotional campaign.
Don’t forget the 6th law of customer experience: You can’t fake it.
The bottom line: Take customer experience seriously or don’t waste your time