Scoot chief executive Campbell Wilson says staff at the airline are encouraged to be themselves rather than stick within prescriptive rules and procedures.
When the Singapore-based low-cost airline launched a little over three years ago, it coined the term ‘Scootitude’ to portray a fun and engaging carrier.
And Wilson says it was left up to staff to define for themselves how exactly that translated to their interactions with passengers. The end result has been a level of customer service that is more genuine rather than forced.
“If I tell someone to be happy and friendly they will say, ‘Yeah, well how? Are you going to pay me more?’ ” Wilson explains in a recent interview in Sydney.
“But if I say Scootitude, it is a unique attitude, what does it mean to you and how will you show it on today’s flight, they are likely to rush off and figure it out.
“It becomes something that is a bit more engrained from within.”
Wilson says while some full-service carriers such as parent Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific rigidly train their staff to achieve what they hope is a consistent experience for their customers each time they board an aircraft or approach a check-in desk, the approach at Scoot is a little different.
With the focus on mostly holiday travellers rather than business or corporate flyers, Scoot can afford to be a bit more relaxed in its approach.
“For us, we are principally targeting leisure traffic and we don’t have the time, or the desire, to spend so long training our staff that they are so rigid and rote,” Wilson says.
“We actually see one of the benefits of dealing with the leisure customer is that if you don’t have to train your staff that much, as long as your staff are friendly and engaging, people actually appreciate the personal quirkiness or individualistic nature.
“That is why we have used the term Scootitude, to give it not only an external positioning but an internal positioning to everyone in the company to define what it means to them and how do you display it.”
And with routes on Scoot more than four hours long, customer service was an essential part of the airline’s offering.
“The expectation of some form of comfort or some form of service is very much Asian and certainly expected in this part of the world,” Wilson says.
“You can’t deny people that and frankly it is a cliche but it is true that a smile is free.”
Read more about Scoot in the September issue of Australian Aviation magazine, on sale August 28.