In the airline industry, Southwest is no stranger to customer experience accolades. In fact, it consistently earns top marks on Forrester’s Customer Experience Index compared to other carriers – offering enjoyable and easy experiences that meet customers' needs.

It will be a pleasure to hear directly from Southwest’s Managing Director of Customer Strategy and Development, Ryan Green, next month at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum West in Anaheim, CA. To get an early taste for why Southwest is known for its experience, and the strategy behind it, read on.

Q&A with Ryan Green, Managing Director Customer Strategy & Development, Southwest Airlines

Q: When did your company first begin focusing on customer experience? Why?

A: Southwest Airlines has always been focused on the Customer. Our company started with the vision to give people the freedom to fly and our differentiator has always been policies and services that lean towards the Customer. As a result, we now fly more passengers domestically, increased our airports served dramatically and Southwest Airlines’ Customer complaints are the lowest in the industry. As we’ve grown and the industry has become more competitive we’ve definitely continued uncovering what our Customers need and want from Southwest Airlines and we are focused on giving them that experience to keep them coming back time and again.

Q: What aspects of the experience that your company delivers matter most to your customers? 

A: Most importantly, we must get them to their destination safely, and on time.  Southwest is proud of our reliability and it’s something our Customers have come to know and appreciate about us. Also, friendly People and Policies – essentially, being easy to do business with us – is critical. When you make decisions based on Customer needs, they get a true sense that you know them and appreciate their business.

Q: What if anything is different about what you're doing now to improve customer experience versus what you did when you were starting out? Why did you change?

A: The ways and the pace by which Customers receive information are evolving by the moment and at Southwest we’ve had to learn how to get ahead of this information sharing. We’re laser focused on personalizing the experience for our Customers and ensuring they have the information they need, where they consume that information. For example, new and interesting technologies—we were the first to deliver an iPhone app–and experiences such as updating airports and facilities with charging stations and offering onboard wireless internet access help ensure our Customers are productive while traveling on Southwest. Continuing to learn about our Customers and engage with our Customers is critical to continuing to deliver their needs.

To hear more from Ryan, join us in Anaheim – November 6-7.