The Wall Street Journal recently featured an article on the modern day retailing calendar. “Transition” calendars have been around for a long time to help retailers plan for the various events in the year that are pegged to seasonal changes, events and holidays. Smart and successful retailers like Target identify upwards to 20 seasons/transitions; all of which are designed to get shoppers into their stores and spending money.
Currently, “back-to-school” is featured in stores and online everywhere you shop. And shop we do. American’s will shell out over $20 billion for K-12 back to school spending and double that for college students. It’s difficult to escape the barrage of marketing messages and many of us have been getting our wallets out quite a lot this time of year.
We got our wallet out and hit the road this week to visit with some of our travel industry friends in New York City. The travel business is a tight knit community and friendships tend to survive the transitions brought on by job changing. At a lunch with one airline executive we couldn’t even count the number of personal working intersections we have had over 20 years. There is something deeply gratifying about recounting these intersections, remembering shared war stories and laughing about bosses we loved to hate.
It was a hot busy summer here in Tulsa so many of us are welcoming the transition of the season shortly ahead of us. And aside from climate, there are other changes our leadership team must plan for. New clients, more contact center space and better agent tools are just a few things that we are talking about. It’s all good but it requires careful planning. Transition? Bring it!
Trase Miller is a company not a person and we came into being for the sole purpose of handling reservations and customer service for American Airlines Vacations (AAV). That was back in 1994 and at the time American had already celebrated flying its billionth passenger (that happened in 1991).
American’s history and heritage is as rich and colorful as any US corporation. American Airways was incorporated in 1930 and represented a consolidation of companies linked back to Charles Lindbergh in 1926. In 1934, American Airways became American Airlines, Inc.
We have been a part of a number of milestones with our client American Airlines and appreciate the all the ways that they partner with us. Since 1994 we have been privileged to work with a group of amazing executives over at American. American Airlines is like Trase Miller in that they really value promotion from within. Last week our “day to day” contact took another job at American and we all paused to wish her well.
Change is constant. And though we are no strangers to change it’s healthy to do some reflection about how we got to a certain point. We have arrived at the point of being considered a premium contact center that specializes in travel because good people over at American Airlines who push us and pull us to be the best.
Of course “THIS ISN’T THE END!” Lori but you will be missed! Congratulations and best of luck.
PS – Click here if you are interested in knowing more about the history of American Airlines.
Southwest Airlines was in the news several times this week. Perhaps most important and on the positive side was their release of quarterly earnings along with disclosure of record load factors and record passenger yields. On the negative side Southwest announced strategy shifts related to a slowdown in business travel and soaring fuel costs. We have tons of respect for Southwest and have befriended several of their executives through the years so we can say in very informed ways that we believe “they get it”. Southwest’s success is not accidental.
Also this week a few of us were on Southwest flights visiting clients and it’s always terrific to experience their service. A flight attendant playfully sang “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” with the substituted lyric of “if you’re listening and you know it clap your hands” - -- The entire plane was in stitches.
But it’s not all fun and games aboard SWA. A customer recently sent a note to Southwest Airlines about a Flight Attendant’s announcement and events immediately following. The Flight Attendant requested that everyone remain seated until the widow and two small children of a serviceman had deplaned.
“I held back tears as she walked the length of the aisle with the children and our military hero’s remains. It is a memory I will never forget, and the Flight Crew handled the situation with utmost professionalism, respect, and genuine care for the family.” He continues, “I am so proud of your Southwest Flight Crew, how they treated a family who is forever changed, and my fellow Passengers, who clapped and then humbly paid silent respects to someone they never knew who gave his life for our ability to travel freely as American citizens. Thank you for how you treat our military members and for your Employees who recognize their sacrifice.”
Nothing much more that we can add to this blog other than the simple thought that some brands earn and deserve our total loyalty based on the way their employees are trained and empowered to do the right thing.