It’s not long since the working day has begun in the office of SWISS’s Core Customer Care Team before the phone starts to ring. Things need to move fast now.
“No premium customer should have to wait more than 20 seconds for us to answer,” says Bernadette Mölder-Thabrew, Head of Passenger Services Operations. Bernadette’s team, which was created in 2016, provides a tailored service for the exclusive ranks of SWISS’s HON Circle Members on the ground and in the air, all the way to meeting even special wishes in exceptional situations.
SWISS’s HON Circle Members are given an exclusive Core Customer Care Team phone number which they can use for any concern. “We want to provide
our premium customers with one single contact for everything they need,” Bernadette explains. “And that makes our working days varied in the extreme!”
“Our team is especially strong at responding to irregularities like delayed or cancelled flights,” Bernadette continues. “If these occur, we’ll work with our other SWISS units and other airlines; and we’ll call around till well into the night if necessary to make sure a stranded premium customer gets to his Bangkok meeting on time.”
The Core Customer Care Team also assists on status issues, helps with travel plans and welcomes feedback, too. “Being a relatively small airline, we can still be close to our customers,” Bernadette points out. “We basically want our HON Circle Members to feel just the same aboard our flights as they do in their own home.” So if they happen to travel on their birthday, for instance, they may find themselves surprised with an unexpected in-flight treat. These personal touches are greatly appreciated. And the effort is returned. “That’s one thing I really like about my job,” Bernadette says. “It’s amazing how many of our premium
customers take time to give us honest and constructive feedback, to help us all make SWISS even better.”
SWISS also attaches great importance to cultivating personal contacts with its HON Circle Members, in the exclusive SWISS First Lounge at Zurich Airport or through the occasional phone call. This is the prime responsibility of Guy Fitzner-Burns, SWISS’s Manager of Passenger Services Operations. And it’s an invaluable way of ascertaining particular preferences. “I may find out, for instance, that a customer would rather be offered tomato juice than wine,” Guy explains. “We can pass that on to the cabin crew, so they can serve the guest right from the start with just the drink they want.”
In exceptional cases Guy may even make special wishes come true. “We had a gentleman once who asked us to present his beloved with a rose on one of our flights,” he recalls. “So we made all the arrangements, and the lady in question was duly surprised at her seat.” It’s the kind of task that gives Guy particular satisfaction. “With little gestures like the rose, we can show our premium travellers how much we appreciate the faith they place in SWISS.”
The Core Customer Care Team
– 23 personnel
– exclusive 24/7 service hotline
How to become a HON Circle Member:
– Accumulate 600,000 HON Miles in two consecutive calendar years.
– HON Miles are earned solely on flights in First and Business Class and at the
– HON Miles can be earned on all scheduled flights operated by Lufthansa,
Lufthansa Private Jet, Adria Airways, Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines, Brussels
Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, Germanwings, LOT Polish Airlines,
Luxair and SWISS.
The benefits of a HON Circle
Extended booking guarantee, preferential check-in, six electronic upgrade
vouchers, best flight award availability, Senator status for spouse or life partner
and much more
Text: Manuela Enggist / Photos: Jen Ries