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Ethiopian Airlines Soon to be the Most Customer-Centric Airline in the World

I was in Ethiopia for 6 days in November doing service strategy seminars for the Ethiopian Airlines leadership team, key employees and the executive team. They want all their employees to be Customers Oriented, Not Task Oriented.

About 2,500 employees attended my seminars in their 500-seat auditorium. We then trained 50 selected leaders to facilitate 3 of our customer service programs. Empowerment, Speed and Loyal for Life (Service Recovery). All 3 programs are branded with a message on the back cover of the participant book by Mesfin Tasew. CEO. Murtaza Versi, our top Distributor in Tanzania conducted a 4-day Certification for 50 key leaders to train thousands of employees with the 3 programs. Ethiopian Airlines wants all employees to make fast empowered decisions in favor of the customer, dramatically improve their speed on everything and master service recovery when things go wrong.

Mesfin Tasew, CEO

Michael Yared, Vice President of Customer Service

The entire program is being driven by Michael Yared, Vice President of Customer Service and Bisrat Telda, Manager MRO and Training Sales. I have been working with them for months in preparation for my seminars and customer service programs. Service Quality Institute has been working with Ethiopian Airlines for over 10 years. They are the most respected company in Ethiopia. the best-managed and most profitable airline in Africa. They have 17,000 employees and another 10,000 employees in the airports in Ethiopia.

I suggest you look for an opportunity to fly with Ethiopian Airlines. Let me know if they exceed your expectations. They have many flights into the US and cover Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Russia and Asia. This is the first airline that is focused on improving its customer service and training its staff on how to deliver an empowered customer experience.


Wilderness in Africa: A Role Model with Better Customer Service Than Disney

I had an opportunity to take another safari with Wilderness while in Zimbabwe for 4 nights at Linkwasha camp. This was my 6th safari with them.  Wilderness was also featured in my book Relentless. The weather in Africa is much warmer than Minnesota in November. We had 10″ of snow in Minneapolis while I was in the sun viewing elephants and lions. We had a pride of 16 lions at one time blocking our path.


I sent Keith Vincent, Wilderness CEO an email summarizing some of the things I saw:

  1. Everyone smiles
  2. Everyone uses your name… Always. Everyone. No other organization in the world is as good as Wilderness with this
  3. Nick and Phillipa each night greeted us as we arrived from the evening drive waving their arms and welcoming us. Very cool. I have never seen a hotel do this.
  4. The food was always really good. A lot of it. 6 times a day. The bad news is I gained some weight.
  5. The availability of drinks of any kind was always available and plentiful.
  6. The tents were always plush. Very comfortable. The beds were soft. Very clean. Plusher than a Ritz Carlton Suite and bigger.
  7. I like that they wash my clothes every day for free. No one does this except Wilderness.
  8. They have a personalized handwritten note in your tent when you arrive and the night before you leave. I have never in my life been at any hotel resort of safari where they do this. One of the secrets of Wilderness.
  9. Customer service by everyone was exceptional.
  10. The guiding and wildlife were awesome. I had 3 guides over 4 days. Livingstone Sana was my primary guide. His photo is below.
  11. All employees LOVE Wilderness. Very few companies in Africa love their employees or value them.

My plane was landing early in Victoria Falls so I asked Owen Matiya, Journey Specialist if I could take a tour of Victoria Falls (My 3rd Visit) It was quickly arranged. Judy met me when I got of the plane, and everything was fast, very customer driven and super accommodating.

Keith, Wilderness is by far the most customer-driven organization in Africa. Better than ANYONE in the US.

The interesting thing about Wilderness and Ethiopian Airlines is they both value employees. Employees love both companies. Wages are a fraction of what anyone in the US makes. The mistake most firms make is money only gets an employee in the door. How they are treated, loved, valued and appreciated is more important than money.

Wilderness takes you on an unrivaled journey through a collection of the world’s most iconic wild destinations. Here is the Wilderness Destinations website.