Virgin America’s Guide to Not Screwing Up Customer Service

What do you get when you combine ego, money, sexy women, and promotional ability?  That’s correct; the newest television reality show entitled, “Fly Girls,” the latest addition to the Branson collection.  Richard Branson’s airline, Virgin America, is yet another example of unique hiring practices and unsurpassed customer service, according to this bnet.com article.  So how does he do it?

According to the airline website, the ideal employee must have no less than 19 qualities: “creative, compassionate, patient, visionary, spontaneous, articulate, a good listener, ambitious, fun, humble, brave, sympathetic, cool under pressure, dedicated, curious, passionate, energetic, inspiring, and trustworthy.”  If applicants can pass through the unusual screening process and are fortunate enough to gain employment, they participate in scavenger hunts on San Francisco streets as part of their training.  According to Virgin America’s management, the training techniques teach problem solving and diplomacy.  The process lasts twice as long as FAA mandated airline orientation programs and new flight attendants become versed in dealing with situations that make customers uncomfortable or irritated while traveling.  Creative thinking is encouraged and the customer experience is always first and foremost.

Virgin America appears to have mastered what it takes to prepare employees to please the customer and provide a satisfying experience in a well developed culture.  Their practices leave other airlines as dust in the wind, yet keep Virgin management focused on consistent improvement.  Fly me, my name is _ _ _ _!!

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