Every Customer Is Important



In our book, Intelligent Fanatics Project, we highlight Herb Kelleher, co-founder of Southwest Airlines. How was it that in arguably the worst industry ever did Southwest Airlines not only survive but thrive? Since 1973, hundreds of airlines have declared bankruptcy and yet Southwest Airlines hasn’t even incurred an unprofitable year. Is it magic, some sort of sorcery? No, it was Herb Kelleher exuding and applying several intelligent fanatic principles.

One of these principles was honest and open communication to employees. Below is an excerpt from Southwest’s LUV Lines (employee newsletter) in 1995. It gives a clear illustration to employees on how important every customer was to the company:

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Consistency Matters

Here are a few other ways that Southwest communicated to employees that every customer is important:



I like that a pilot in Dallas was comfortable and confident enough to share a formula that he invented with “higher ups”.

I also like that the pilot was then recognized, publicly, for his contribution.

At zero dollars of additional cost, imagine how proud Ken, the pilot, felt? I reckon he was more proud of that than a bonus cheque, or other form of monetary compensation he potentially received.