5 Customer Experience Strategies From Emirates Airlines

What does it take to be regularly recognized as the best airline in the world? A willingness to go above and beyond to put customers first—and the investments to back it up. With its five-star service and excellent amenities, Emirates goes against airline industry trends to invest in customers and provide an impeccable experience. There’s a reason customers flock to Emirates flights.

Here are five customer experience strategies from Emirates Airlines:

1) Invest in comfort and convenience.

From the moment passengers step foot on board an Emirates flight, it’s clear that this isn’t your typical flying experience. The company recently invested $2 billion to improve its in-flight experience, with the bulk of the money going towards upgrading cabin interiors with new flooring and seats. Emirates invests heavily in creating a top-tier experience but doesn’t just throw money around. Its investments are strategically pointed to making flights more comfortable and convenient for customers, which is markedly different from the approach of other airlines.

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark put it this way: “While others respond to industry pressures with cost cuts, Emirates is flying against the grain and investing to deliver ever better experiences to our customers.”

2) Upgrade traditional pain points.

Emirates’ customer experience strategy focuses on upgrading traditional air travel pain points—most notably, airplane food. Emirates recently updated its in-flight menus to include new vegan dishes and options typically reserved for top-tier restaurants, including pan-roasted king oyster mushrooms, jackfruit biryani, and sliced kohlrabi garnished with burnt orange. First class passengers can also get unlimited cinema snacks, including gourmet popcorn and caviar.

Emirates backs its commitment to freshness by building the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai, which produces more than 2.2 million pounds of leafy greens annually for in-flight dining.

3) Train and empower employees.

A customer experience strategy is only as good as the frontline workers. Emirates’ renowned customer service is due to empowering employees and cabin crews around the pillars of Excellence, Attentiveness, Innovation, and Passion. Emirates partnered with Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne, one of the world’s premier hospitality management schools to revamp the training program to empower employees in all areas with the tools to provide a consistent customer and hospitality experience.

Although Emirates is already known for its amazing customer service, its updated initiative aims to take service and hospitality to the next level to provide more personalized service and connections, showing that the best companies aren’t complacent with their training efforts.

4) Details matter.

Emirates’ large-scale investments in its cabin interiors and menus are easy to see, but perhaps what matters most to customers is the details. Emirates doesn’t leave any stone unturned, meaning that passengers have every detail provided.

Most airlines only provide amenity kits to first class passengers, but Emirates gives them to every passenger. Each kit contains socks, eyeshades, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a bookmark, all made with recycled materials. These small details go above and beyond to solidify Emirates’ brand and create a pleasant flying experience. By putting itself in passengers’ shoes and considering what people want on a flight, Emirates comes through with quality details.

5) Provide options for personalization.

A handful of channels for in-flight entertainment is acceptable, but Emirates goes above and beyond with more than 5,000 entertainment channels for ultimate personalization. Passengers can pre-select movies and TV shows through an app before their flight, and those shows are then synced to the in-flight entertainment system once they board. It’s no wonder Emirates has been named the airline with the best in-flight entertainment for the past 15 years.

Technology creates incredible opportunities for personalization, and Emirates’ robust in-flight entertainment options allow each customer to create their ideal flying experience.

Emirates shows that customers are central to its decisions in every aspect of the customer journey. Putting customers first and going above and beyond with incredible service and amenities creates an experience to which customers want to return.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist and the author of The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her weekly email here.

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