For years our neighbours across the ditch have laid claim to Kiwi successes and achievements – think the mighty Pavlova, Crowded House, Russell Crowe, Phar Lap, Lamingtons, and lolly cake. This year, again, they have voted our national airline their most trusted company.

I’ve long been a fan of Air New Zealand – even though I had an unfavourable experience recently – but there’s no doubting its massive success and consistent presence in international lists of most respected and trusted airlines. Now, for the third year in a row, it has come out top in Reputation Institute’s Australian Corporate Reputation Index. That’s despite some pretty hefty competition from much larger Australian companies.

“Customer focus underpins reputation leadership.”

The Index lists 60 companies and is voted on by more than 10,000 Australians. That country’s own national carrier, Qantas, came in second with JB-Hifi third. Air New Zealand CEO, Christoper Luxton, as reported in the NZ Herald said: “Customer focus underpins reputation leadership. We maintain our leading position by continuing to invest in our aircraft, products and services and by bringing genuine Kiwi warmth to the 17 million journeys we’re part of every year.” (Source: “Air New Zealand voted Australia’s most respected company,” NZ Herald, 16 April 2019).

“We are living in the age of experience. Building reputation nowadays is about actions not words.”

It capped of a great week for the airline as it was also named New Zealand’s most reputable brand in the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index for 2019, for the fifth year in a row.

The head of Colmar Brunton, Sarah Bolger, said: “We are living in the age of experience. Building reputation nowadays is about actions not words. Companies which do the right things by the public and tell their stories well have resilience that enables them to ride out occasional setbacks and bad news. Conversely, companies that don’t consistently provide a great customer experience or communicate how they are dealing with their issues find their reputations suffer.” (Source: “Air New Zealand named Kiwis’ most respected brand,” (NZ Herald, 12 April 2019).

“It is never easy dealing with the public, because the public is a diverse mix of so many different people, with differing backgrounds, temperaments and expectations.”

 

Indeed, every successful company thrives because it focuses on customer service and providing a level of excellence – in products and/or services that meet or exceed customer expectation. Despite my disappointment at one sub par experience with Air New Zealand recently, I also accept that’s an anomaly in over four decades as a consistent flier with the airline. I fully understand that a crew will have an off day, and that it is a very difficult and demanding job. It is never easy dealing with the public, because the public is a diverse mix of so many different people, with differing backgrounds, temperaments and expectations.

On a return leg from Shanghai to Auckland last month, I encountered a crew that were a credit to the airline and a great indication of why Air New Zealand consistently tops lists of most reputable company. They were attentive, kind, and provided the level of customer service that can only be categorised as excellent. It is amazing how an experience like that can contribute so much to the connection that one may feel about a brand and overcome a previously negative experience.

To read the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index for 2019 report – go here.