My personal story on losing my iPad and the keys on improving customer satisfaction

I’m telling you this story from my car, sitting in a traffic jam on the way back from the Düsseldorf Airport and, to express it mildly, I am NOT happy.

With the holidays we flew, with my family, to Hungary with Eurowings. On the way back my son forgot his iPad on the plane. We sent an email to the company. They said we have to contact the Lost&Found department of the airport. They, in turn, said no, you have to go back and contact the airline.

Finally we got an email that we can pick up the IPad at the Lost&Found department of the Düsseldorf Airport. So here we are. I drove about two hours to get there. When I got there I had to wait 40 minutes as it was not open till 16.00 in the afternoon. Extra time which was added to my parking ticket as well. Finally at 16.00 when I entered to retrieve the iPad, I was told that it was send a few days ago to the Eurowings head-office. And that I need to contact them and ask them to send it to my home.

So, as you might understand, I am P****d off and as a customer of Eurowings I am just in shock. This company flies aeroplanes every day, many passengers lose all kind of stuff, and:

  1. They don’t have a procedure how to get stuff back
  2. They don’t communicate well. They provide incorrect information. Which makes me spend time and money to gather my stuff.

… just to find out that the stuff isn’t even there!

So. I’m not a happy customer of Eurowings.

I’m telling you this story, because this is a live example of why you should work on your processes, why you should improve your quality, why you should improve efficiency and reduce costs – to avoid situations like this and keep your customers happy.

Eurowings might not be aware, but I wouldn’t recommend their company to anyone! Not only because of this situation, but because of the whole experience. Yes, it was cheap, but the quality was bad!

Any customer, your or me, when you go to a restaurant, take a flight or anything else, you are satisfied when these three elements are in balance:

  1. Quality
  2. Time(-liness)
  3. Cost/effort

Quality means friendliness, service, reliability. You say what you do and you do as you say, irrespective of the person serving or the person being served. So you get something good and you may count on that. No mistakes, no unclear situations, like for me getting back and forward to Germany, driving 4 hours just to be told my stuff is not there anymore.

Quality alone is not enough. The second factor is time. Time and quality are often closely related. It took me a lot of time to figure out the procedure of how to get the iPad back from Eurowings or from the airport. It took time for me to drive to Germany. It took time for me to wait for the office to open. It takes time for me to drive back with nothing in hand. It takes time to sit in the traffic jam. And then it will take even more time continuing the procedure to get my stuff back. So, the quality can be very good, maybe the flight is excellent, the food great (not the case for me!), the chair was comfortable (it wasn’t) if it all takes a lot of time (like me to get my stuff back) then you are still not a happy customer.

Then, imagine the quality was great and I didn’t have to waste a lot of time, but I had to pay a lot for tickets or services, I would not be happy. So these three factors need to be in balance: Quality, Time and Costs. Costs can be money or the efforts I have to take in order to obtain what I need.

With Lean Six Sigma you will work on these three things, to get them in balance: Quality, Time and Costs. You’ll make sure the quality is good, no mistakes are made and your service/product is reliable and predictable. Then you focus on the time it takes for your customer, no waiting time, no emails back and forth, no calls with uncertain outcomes, no queuing. The focus with Lean Six Sigma will be on Quality and Timeliness, but you will see that if you get these two right, the costs will be reduced as well. Your employees will make less mistakes and they won’t need time to correct those. Your processes will be clearer and lead times will be shorter. So, at the end of the day, you will see your costs will go down.

Focus on improving quality and efficiency (time) and create your own happy customers!

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