Airlines must improve on digital or fail

by | Mar 26, 2021 | Airlines, Digital Transformation, News

Travelers are expecting more from their online experience – now airlines must deliver

A recent  survey from Trustly suggests that 35% of leaders from both low-cost and full-service airlines say that “improving digital channels for customer service” is the top strategy they intend to use to improve their relationship with travelers post-COVID-19. This is probably no surprise to anyone. The briefest of news searches from just the past month shows a map of exactly how important digitisation has become to the aviation industry, with new services and digital offerings being launched almost daily.

This is all very well and good, after all it’s nice to have new service announcements at a time when so much of the business simply isn’t working. Unfortunately, none of it means anything unless these services work exactly as advertised. This same report also advises brands to “understand that the best-in-class digital experiences consumers have today must become the baseline for their expectations for tomorrow.”

When it comes to digital products, development isn’t as easy as it may look on the surface. Beyond all the technical complexities, of which there are many, there’s also the fact that traditional analytics tools simply don’t provide the level of insight to allow digital teams to make informed decisions on how and where to make improvements. So how can airlines make sure that the best digital offerings are just the start of their development, not the finished product?

Iterating on Traveler Flows

Seera Group, the largest travel and tourism company in the Middle East, has been going through a transformative process to become more customer focused. Using Quantum Metric, the digital  team  discovered  that customers on  their Almosafer and tajawal websites were adjusting their travel search parameters to identify the best fit in terms of price and flight. If they could not easily find the most affordable option, they’d simply abandon their session. By both identifying and quantifying the problem, Quantum Metric both highlighted the problem, and how much it might be costing Seera group in terms of missed bookings. By improving their Fare Calendar using these insights, the company was able to increase conversion rate by 26%.

According to Ronnie Varghese, VP Digital Product at Seera Group this was a significant step in their process to creating a customer first approach; “Our Fare Calendar launch was a great example of   full   lifecycle product discovery and, once launched,  Quantum  Metric was  a  key  platform to help us assess how customers were actually using it and where we could improve the product. It helped us validate the time and effort we invested in building the massively complex caching mechanism needed to store and filter by both airline and fares.”

Improving Call Centre Outcomes

Alaska Airlines managed to go one step further, using Quantum Metric not just to improve customer digital experience, but also using the platform’s session replay abilities to reproduce customer experiences live within the customer call centre. This allowed representatives to troubleshoot in real-time, as well as highlighting any broken functionality, and raise it directly with the helpdesk and product engineers. Call centre time was reduced, customer satisfaction increased and engineering fix time was also reduced. The perfect example of the customer experience driving development of product design.

If there’s one thing the past 12 months has shown us all, it’s that we must become more comfortable with change and more capable of adapting customer offerings on digital in response to an unpredictable marketplace. Those who embrace the situation and succeed will thrive, those who don’t, will become the success stories of the past. Becoming truly customer centric isn’t easy, and it needs new solutions and a different approach to make it a reality.

Come and visit the Quantum Metric booth at the World Aviation Festival to see how we can guide you through  incorporating Continuous Product Design into the development of your digital customer-focused services.