As one of America’s most beloved companies, Southwest Airlines (SWA) has posted consistent profits an amazing 35 years in a row in an industry where fuel costs, security concerns, and customer dissatisfaction have forced major competitors into bankruptcy.
While the airline industry, as a whole, has found itself rated below the IRS in customer satisfaction, SWA has consistently been ranked in customer and employee satisfaction and corporate reputation. SWA has been #1 in on-time arrivals, departures, and overall quality. A primary reason for their enduring success has been the trust they’ve established with their employees and their customers.
In the spring of 2008 it came out that SWA missed several mandatory maintenance checks, operating dozens of their planes in violation of several federal laws. Facing a major fine by the FAA, the company’s response was to ground the aircraft and release the personnel they deemed responsible. For most corporations this would spell a public relations nightmare! But for the most part, passengers failed to react at all. Why would they give Southwest a pass on what seems to be an egregious error? The public offered them an extra amount of grace because of the exceptional level of trust Southwest had achieved.
The Trust Edge, Trust company of the month, Trust Impacts the Bottom Line, Trust in Business, Trust in Leadership, David Horsager, Positive Impact, Southwest Airlines