New Airbus Helicopter CEO Guillaume Faury and the head of its U.S. arm, Marc Paganini, were visibly penitent when discussing the company’s traditionally problematic customer service yesterday at Heli-Expo. Faury left no doubt that he is committed to focusing more company resources and attention on product support. “It is time for new priorities,” he said. Paganini echoed that sentiment, admitting, “We need to do better.”
While Faury declined to say specifically how much money the company plans to spend rectifying customer service and support issues, he and Paganini unveiled several broad-based initiatives aimed at solving the problem. “We decided very quickly to spend tens of millions of dollars…to increase our supply of parts” and to focus on reducing response times to customer requests, he said. Paganini said that Airbus is also focusing on making web-based customer service portals easier to use.
According to Faury, the renewed focus on customer service is part of a larger strategy to increase product quality and safety across the board, beginning with initiatives to install flight data and video recorders in its smaller helicopters as standard equipment and to fit cockpit voice recorders in its medium and heavy helicopters.