Laurie Barnett serves as managing director communications and outreach for Southwest Airlines. As such, she is expert in the subject area of empowerment and taking good care of customers.
Those will be among her points of emphasis at VenueConnect when she presents a session on Empowering Employees to Do What’s Right for Customers.
Attendees should expect an interactive session where Barnett highlights and shares Southwest Airlines’ best practices for building a strong corporate culture, training your people to deliver the best possible customer service, and empowering employees to turn a negative customer interaction into a positive one. She will share examples from both in-person and social media customer interactions at Southwest Airlines, a company known for its people and exemplary customer service.
When it comes to the public assembly venue world, it is a given that no facility will be completely perfect to the thousands that attend events. Nonetheless, there are some definite actions that can be taken to get that number as close to perfect as possible.
“Your reputation precedes you,” Barnett said. “Delivering a consistent, high-quality product that creates positive buzz (on social media). That experience begins with the idea of visiting your venue, until they have completed that interaction, and in every step of that journey, you have an opportunity to provide excellent hospitality.”
Culture can be a tricky and sometimes elusive term. That also need not be as evidenced by the success that Southwest Airlines has enjoyed over the years in that department.
“At Southwest Airlines, it’s the way we do things around here, how we behave,” Barnett said. “We have always had our core values and have formalized them throughout the years to help guide how we ‘Live and Work the Southwest Way.’ This helps guide how we hire, train, promote, and encourage our employees and is the core of who we are.”
By the end of the session, Barnett said that attendees will have a plate full of tools to work with upon returning to their respective facilities.
“Put people first, promote purpose-driven values, and nurture the culture to create a competitive edge with your customers,” she said.