While the world is shut down, there are a few firms that understand the pain their customers are going through because of COVID-19. This is a time to help your customers and think long term. It has separated the boys from the men, and the leaders from the followers. Many are just copy cats.
Delta Airlines stands out as maybe the best response. They are losing billions of dollars and are probably at 5% capacity but on April 5 Ed Bastian, CEO was the first airline to respond in an awesome way to its customers.
- SkyMile Members had their current Medallion Status automatically extended though 2021 whether or not you requalify. I am Diamond the highest status you can get. The most valuable card in my billfold. All my 2020 miles will be rolled over in 2021. With the absence of flying for probably 3 months, there is no way I would have maintained my status. (20% of your customers give you 80% of your sales. Delta took care of its most valuable customers fast).
- Additional flexibility: Delta extended the ability to plan, re-book, and travel for up to two years. They waived the fees through to May 31, 2020 and can change new tickets without a change fee for up to a year from the date of purchase.
- A new standard of clean. They are streamlining onboard food and beverage services domestically and internationally to lessen physical touchpoints between you and the crews.
Allstate Insurance because its customers were driving less and had fewer accidents, was saving millions of dollars. Most of their auto customers will get an average payback of about 15% based on their monthly insurance costs during April and May. They are also offering free identity protection. Tom Wilson, Allstate Chair, President and CEO was the first insurance company to respond. Now many of the other large insurance firms are copying Allstate.
I find most firms are too little and too late. Waiting 30 – 60 days with too little like Marriott and Vail Resorts which are both normally service leaders is disappointing. I just received a negative email on Chase. They helped their big customers get the U.S Small Business Administration PPP loans and ignored their small business customers. Here is an example where they helped there big high-value customers and ignored their bread and butter customers. Once you lose your Brand of Relentless Service it is hard to get back.