Thursday, November 16, 2017

IndiGo Airlines has to go an extra mile to regain consumer confidence

In the Brand Finance India's Most Valuable Brands list this year, IndiGo Airlines was the biggest gainer. It made a 33-point jump from 95 to 62. However, post the recent fiasco (wherein videos of an IndiGo ground staff manhandling a passenger went viral), IndiGo's brand value will surely take a beating. The airline brand, which won consumers' hearts by living up to its promise of on-time performance and high service standards has suddenly lost out on consumer confidence not so much for the staff member manhandling the passenger, but because of the airline's inability to acknowledge its mistake. 
The airline took time to apologise for the incident and by the time it did, it had already lost the plot. Every second day there has been news about the airlines service lapse. Whether it is news of a cockroach found in the cabin or a passenger falling down from the wheel-chair, Indigo has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. A service brand is all about its people and can never wish away these kind of issues, but when brand value shakes, even minor issues can create havoc.
"Silence from the IndiGo management is not a good governance example," points out Ajimon Francis, MD, Brand Finance. IndiGo Director, Aditya Ghosh, should have put out an unconditional apology moments after the incident went viral.
Service brands have the highest degree of customer risk, says the former CMO of a leading airline company. "Heightened expectations and emotions are a given in any airline brand and whether they were right or wrong they should have apologised," he says.
15/11/17 Ajita Shashidhar/Business Today