EasyJet CEO: ‘If you are not good with customers you will never make as much profit as you should’

EasyJet CEO’s Carolyn McCall believes that any company interested in building a business for the long-term rather than short-term profitability should be focused on customer service and meeting customer expectations.


Speaking at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in London yesterday (15 June) she said other airlines that don’t offer good customer service aren’t as profitable as they should be. She said customers are looking for airlines that “make things easy for them, are there when things go wrong and can be trusted to ensure passengers are safe and taken care of”.

“I believe if you are not good with customers you will never be as good, never make as much profit, as you should because actually they have a choice and they will always choose someone who is nice to them.

“That trust with customers is vitally important and you can lose it very quickly and it takes quite a long time to regain,” she said.

She admitted that one of the problems when she joined EasyJet in 2010 was that it had lost customer trust because it wasn’t punctual, reliable or efficient, hence why she focused on the operations side when she first joined.

“You are trying to make itself as efficient as possible so that when something goes wrong, as it will, you are able to recover quickly, get crew out quickly, make it as invisible to the passenger as it is possible to be,” she said.

She admitted that EasyJet doesn’t offer “gold plated” customer service but said that as long as it can meet customer expectations it will continue to see growth.

“Customer care doesn’t have to be gold plated. I don’t think anyone expects EasyJet to be gold plated. They expect you to be friendly, helpful and to get you to places on time and efficiently. They don’t expect anything else so if we can deliver that expectation they will always come back to us,” she said.

European aviation changing

McCall believes European aviation is changing, with the carriers that can offer low fares, good service and good networks set to be the winners.

“[Legacy carriers] can’t sustain what they do in short haul. They have fantastic businesses in long haul and that is where their focus will lead. It will not be about short haul aviation.”