Ryanair’s attempts to shake off its reputation for poor customer service have shown some signs of improving after they have risen to 2 positions in a recent Which? Survey, leaving Npower and Scottish Power ranking worst for customer service.
However, the airline scored just 59 per cent in the survey, which ranked brands across metrics such as whether customers felt valued, their product service and knowledge and ability to resolve complaints. Ryanair managed to score only two stars out of a possible five across all these categories. Although the slight improvement on last year, when it was in last place, it is still lagging behind other airlines such as EasyJet and British Airways, which scored 72 per cent and 74 per cent respectively.
Although Ryanair isn’t ranked highly for its customer service, according to data from flightontime.info, a website that collates punctuality statistics from UK airports, Ryanair offered the most punctual service of the budget airlines in 2013, as opposed to EasyJet who recorded 3.4 per cent of their flights as running over an hour late.
Since being branded the worst in last year’s poll, Ryanair has overhauled its customer experience package. Along with launching an ad campaign earlier on this year announcing “we’re changing”, Ryanair has ramped up its efforts with a new marketing strategy including a revamp of its website to make the booking process easier.
Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: “Our commitment to the improvement of our customer experience under our ‘Always Getting Better’ programme continues, following the introduction of allocated seating, a free second carry-on bag, reduced fees, a new website, a brand new app with mobile boarding passes, and our dedicated family service, Ryanair Family Extra.”
The budget airline also launched a partnership with online payments system PayPal to further boost its customer experience. The partnership means that passengers can now pay for their flights using their PayPal account when booking via the website.
“Our partnership with PayPal is the latest element of our ‘Always Getting Better’ programme and our commitment to the continued improvement of our customer experience,” said Kenny Jacobs.
They have also appointed John Hurley as chief technology officer, as the airline seeks to up its investment in digital marketing and new product development. Hurley will be responsible for developing and implementing a “world-leading” digital and technology strategy, heading up a team of 200 people, overseeing the roll-out of the new “Ryanair Labs” digital innovation hub based at Ryanair’s new Dublin campus.
Caroline Green, the airline’s head of customer service, says that customer satisfaction levels within the new website and the latest version of its mobile app, offering improved booking functionality, were already up 25 per cent between last November and this spring.
Since the 2013 customer survey, Ryanair has started to implement changes to its customer service, including partnering with PayPal, and improving their mobile app and website. As mobile devices become increasingly available and accessible, this enables brands to enhance their customer experience offering, as convenience remains at the forefront for consumer satisfaction. It’s early days, but time will tell if these improvements can lead to Ryanair getting a higher customer service score in future surveys.