Simplicity is at the Heart of Great Customer Experience, Survey Shows

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In a world that can be a bit complicated and overwhelming, consumers generally love when a brand delivers simplicity. According to the US portion of a new global “simplicity” study from New York-based branding firm Siegel+Gale, Amazon is the simplest brand for US consumers to engage with, followed by Netflix.

“You think about our lives today and all the experiences people are having with multiple screens and multiple interactions,” Kathleen Kindle, a Siegel+Gale strategy director for brand development, told USA Today. “Brands that offer a respite from all of that, a transparent and easy experience to their customers” can have an advantage. “We could all use a little less complexity in our daily lives.”

The simplest US travel brand, according to the study, is Southwest Airlines, which ranked at No. 9 worldwide according to the 1,500 respondents to the survey, which was conducted in May and June. JetBlue came in second in the US, but was ranked at No. 44 globally.

“The perception that Southwest offers fair prices that don’t dramatically spike because of a host of extra fees being tacked on is key to customers feeling the airline is easy to deal with,” Brian Rafferty, director of global research for the firm, told USA Today.[more]

Other airline carriers didn’t fare quite as well among US respondents, with US Airways, American, United, and Delta all ranking somewhere between 105 and 116. Rafferty told the paper that the airline industry was one where “there’s the biggest gap between the leaders and the laggards.”

The news certainly can’t hurt Southwest, which will announce its third-quarter results on Thursday. According to Forbes, “analysts project a profit of 32 cents a share, a rise from 13 cents per share a year ago,” and “revenue is projected to be $4.53 billion for the quarter, 5 percent above the year-earlier total of $4.31 billion.”

What’s more, Southwest fliers coming out of Dallas are going to love the airline a little more in about a year when a law change will allow the airline to fly more direct flights from the location than it does now. According to CBS, Southwest will also add more destinations from Dallas Love Field at that time. Southwest also appears to have hit big with its recent campaign to double frequent-flier miles for loyalty-club members as long as they fly before Thanksgiving. It’s such a good idea that United has introduced the same plan, according to the Chicago Business Journal.

But not all is well for travel brands, as car-rental services lagged on the survey. Enterprise came in at 57 on the list, but Alamo was all the way down at 84 with Hertz and Budget coming in at 97 and 98. “Consumers were turned off by complicated rental contracts and fees for insurance, gas and other extras,” Siegel+Gale’s reps told USA Today.

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