"Five Big Questions"

Old Jan 29, 20, 2:39 pm
  #1  
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"Five Big Questions"

I am sure many of you saw this article a few weeks ago, with incoming Air NZ CEO Greg Foran asking staff for "candid and constructive" answers to "five big questions"

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/ind...-big-questions

I thought it might be fun to ask these of FT posters! Who knows, maybe Mr Foran lurks on FT!

Here are the questions 1. What is the most important thing we could do to consistently improve our customer service?

2. Where does Air New Zealand waste money that could be better spent serving our customers?

3. What do you like most about the Air New Zealand culture that you want to preserve?

4. If you could change one thing about the culture, what would that be?

5. What opportunities do you see for us to grow our revenue and profitability?

To get this started here are my answers

1. Waive phone service charges for Elite members, I imagine we are not time wasters (mostly!) and prefer to do things as efficiently as we can (i.e. online) but often its just not practical. We have presumably more complex requests and the painful negotiation on what can and cant be done online and waiving of fees is frustrating. In many ways it may hurt the airline as nickel and diming for changes to expensive fares may just put us off the airline, certainly puts me off calling. QF Platinum line seem much more helpful
2. Easy, the endless social media attention seeking, safety videos being the most obvious example.
3. Last week I had a captain on a flight AKL-ZQN who was fantastic. He gave a really good commentary on where we are flying, it was a beautiful day and he called out the sights as we were going over. Even as a very regular domestic flyer over the South Island I found myself taking pics of Mount Cook. This kind of interaction with the passengers was a really nice touch. (he also stood at the door as passengers left, i thanked him personally for his commentary)
4. A few years ago, I felt NZ had the right balance between friendliness and chattiness where appropriate but still maintaining a professional decorum. I have found in recent years this has become too informal, almost matey. Maybe its related to the social media nonsense and dumbing down of communication, but I feel like this professional work ethic is an aspect of NZ culture that is carried by more senior cabin crew that should be maintained. The crew are not my mates, as I am not their mates so I don't expect to be treated like that and I don't treat them like that. I wish they could do back to that.
5. I don't see why they cant serve paid snacks and drinks on domestic flights giving us a wider selection than just a cookie or chips and tea. Sooo boring. JQ manages it, and especially on longer flights you can buy a beer, chips, sandwich etc. If it wasn't making them money JQ wouldn't do it. I think they should look at their loyalty programme and see if it is really doing what it should for top tier pax. The value is atrocious. Yes there might be short term pain but would it keep flyers spending more. For example, I actively avoid NZ for international flights as I can requalify for Elite on domestic only, i get much better earn and burn elsewhere.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 3:42 pm
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1. New J seats (not aisle facing herringbone) yesterday! Spend more on food please!

Originally Posted by oranjemakker View Post

2. Easy, the endless social media attention seeking, safety videos being the most obvious example.

5. I don't see why they cant serve paid snacks and drinks on domestic flights giving us a wider selection than just a cookie or chips and tea. Sooo boring. JQ manages it, I think they should look at their loyalty programme and see if it is really doing what it should for top tier pax. The value is atrocious. Yes there might be short term pain but would it keep flyers spending more. For example, I actively avoid NZ for international.
+1
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Old Jan 29, 20, 6:55 pm
  #3  
 
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1. New J seats.
2. New J seats
3. New J seats
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Old Jan 30, 20, 1:22 am
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Originally Posted by WLGNZ View Post
1. New J seats.
2. New J seats
3. New J seats
Come November(ish) 2022 your wish will come true.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 12:06 pm
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JQ manages it, and especially on longer flights you can buy a beer, chips, sandwich etc. If it wasn't making them money JQ wouldn't do it.

On long NZ flights, everyone one can order for free drinks via the IFE. On my ORD flight, sandwiches were available for free in Y (Business had hot dogs). But I agree, the domestic offer is very boring
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Old Jan 30, 20, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by jdavido View Post
On long NZ flights, everyone one can order for free drinks via the IFE. On my ORD flight, sandwiches were available for free in Y (Business had hot dogs). But I agree, the domestic offer is very boring
Sorry my bad, what I meant was longer domestic flights (like AKL-ZQN or even AKL-CHC). I was flying the ZQN flight recently and they finished the water and tea service really fast with over an hour to go and a bit later I was thirsty, crew nowhere to be seen (must all have been in the back galley) I had to ring the crew call to get a cup of water. I hate calling the crew button but TBH they were kind of lazy. They had more than enough time to pass a pad trolley down the aisle
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Old Feb 3, 20, 9:32 pm
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1. What is the most important thing we could do to consistently improve our customer service?

Anything that improves communication within the business. Especially communication with staff, suppliers, stakeholders and customers etc…. as a regular weekly customer, I am most affected by the Air NZ’s external communication especially the customer experience and I am most interested in anything delivers a better OTP.

Specifically; Timely, honest & informed PA’s, airport flight board that are reliable and kept updated (and not broken), gate information boards that are accurate and timely information updates to the app that get us all on-board efficiently. Understand we can all handle the truth even if its bad news.

2. Where does Air New Zealand waste money that could be better spent serving our customers?

I hope that Air NZ does not waste money on anything..... However, the reality is I am sure there are several areas your keen-eyed staff have spotted and I am sure you will make changes.

Here’s one idea for free – we all munched through 15.5 million Air NZ lollies last year. Maybe there is a way to make their wrappers both food safe and biodegradable?

3. What do you like most about the Air New Zealand culture that you want to preserve?

I like all of it – as a proud kiwi with over 40 years flying experience that still flies weekly all over the Air New Zealand network, I am also fortunate to have travelled on many other carriers and still think there is something special about the Air New Zealand way of doing things.

4. If you could change one thing about the culture, what would that be?

The challenge to your Mr Foran is to be bold and lead. However, you don’t have to be in a position of power to have influence over the culture of the company. My advice would be to make sure that every single Air New Zealander knows that they play a vital part in the culture of the company and empower them to do this with pride. Believe me when I say every-day we are all watching you all at work and a lot of us with envy!

5. What opportunities do you see for us to grow our revenue and profitability?

Short Term Win: There must be a bigger focus on OTP. We all understand that airlines can’t control weather and ATC but they all can better manage maintenance & crew problems, late passengers, aircraft cleaning, baggage loading, fueling, etc. Time is money, In my opinion, (safely) managing better OTP everyone wins!

Medium Term Strategy: Leverage partnerships and alliances to widen the network BUT make them efficient and easy to understand. The biggest frustration I have is that there are so many ‘different’ options and I need a PhD in aviation law to understand the rules and regulations that apply specifically to each alliance. This will get worse as the London route is dropped and we will have more than 20 different options to get to Europe each with their own pros and cons. Simplicity and alignment of things like interline agreements, codeshare and their respective frequent flyer programs are essential here.

Long Term Strategy: Continued investment in technology, investment in hard and soft products and maintaining a young fleet means lower operational costs, improved efficiency and improved profitability. I know it’s already been said but the new J class seats can’t come sooner!
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Old Feb 10, 20, 1:49 am
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I see its become three questions in the survey NZ have just sent out
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Old Feb 10, 20, 2:27 am
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Yes, mine arrived earlier today. That is my top priority in the morning.
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Old Feb 10, 20, 4:47 am
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Originally Posted by Markhm View Post
Yes, mine arrived earlier today. That is my top priority in the morning.
I did the survey this evening.
Submitted a rather long set of responses.
It was good to have the opportunity to provide feedback - it would be nice to think that Mr Foran would look at the more detailed responses himself so that he gains unfiltered opinions but this might be too hopeful
The disappointing thing was that the survey was anonymous (apparently) - it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to be identified if one was happy to include details so that clarification of ideas could be sought if required.
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Old Feb 11, 20, 1:57 am
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The next big thing to me is long haul ex Australia!
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Old Feb 11, 20, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by Xiaotung View Post
The next big thing to me is long haul ex Australia!
They already tried that.

Can't see that happening again. It means having to compete head on with competition.
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Old Feb 11, 20, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Xiaotung View Post
The next big thing to me is long haul ex Australia!
Why?
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Old Feb 11, 20, 3:09 pm
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My next big thing was to change airpoints away from a dollar denominated system, pretty doubtful theyll do that though
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Old Feb 11, 20, 5:07 pm
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Originally Posted by ps107 View Post
Why?
Probably because they have conquered New York and they will have run out of route development ex AKL. I know it probably won't happen but nothing can be as big as this from my persepctive.
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