In her interview with Curtis Kopf, Managing Director, AlaskaAir.com and Customer Innovation, Patty Seybold learned how the commitment to providing an exceptional customer experience resulted in the airline’s pioneering work in customer-facing innovation. It surprised me to learn that Alaska Air Group (Alaska and Horizon Airlines) is the seventh largest airline in the U.S. (Here, on the East Coast, Alaska Air seems very niche and exotic). Further, the airline was the first to book flights and sell tickets via the Internet, the first to offer Web check-in, the first to use onboard POS devices to accept debit and credit cards in the air, among other innovations! Who knew?
Curtis Kopf heads up Alaska Airlines’ digital, mobile, and ecommerce team. Patty is a fan of his combination of responsibilities: “It’s hard to separate e-commerce and online self-service from mobile tools and your mobile-friendly web site. So it also makes sense to combine mobile and e-commerce/online under one role. But what’s different and particularly interesting to me about Curtis Kopf’s role at Alaska Airlines is his involvement in the company’s initiatives to use technology to make it easy for customers to get things done when they’re interacting with Alaska Airlines and its personnel at the airport and/or on the plane.”
How could your organization benefit from an explicit executive focus on customer innovation? Maybe it’s time to hire or promote a Director/VP of Customer Innovation in your company.
Managing Customer Innovation at Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines Combines Customer Innovation with E-Commerce & Mobile
By Patricia B. Seybold, CEO and Senior Consultant, Patricia Seybold Group, May 31, 2012