While the aviation industry has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years in terms of customer experience, there is still some way to go for many. A lot of customers feel that unless they are flying business or first class, their needs are not met. These passengers may not have as much financial value in the short term, but over a lifetime losing their business could be a huge mistake. Often one of the biggest complaints is that the customer experience is inconsistent and disjointed because there are so many different teams and touchpoints along the way. Here are some of the most important areas to consider when attempting to wow the customers traveling through with your airline.
Consider the entire customer journey
Your customer’s journey starts before they have arrived at the airport and will continue until after the flight has landed. You can improve the customer experience before they arrive by offering advice or discount vouchers, which may improve their journey. This may differentiate you from the competition and keep you in their minds after their journey is over.
Build long-term relationships with customers
Your relationship with your customers should not be dictated by how many miles they fly with you each year. A customer has a lifetime value, which is difficult to quantify, particularly when travel plans change from year to year. Your objective is to be the customer’s preferred choice of airline and you can achieve this by delivering consistently high customer service.
Prioritize the customer experience
It’s important that airlines and airports prioritize safety and security, but this should not be at the expense of the customer experience. The aviation industry includes engineering, logistics and hospitality, and it’s the hospitality that is sometimes forgotten. Your customers are not simply bodies to be moved from A to B; they are guests who have paid for an experience with your airline. To ensure you are meeting the expectations of your customers and providing the best possible service, it’s essential to give customers the opportunity to complete an airport customer survey. They can do this online or via digital touchpoint terminals during their journey, but the data should be reviewed and acted upon to identify weaknesses and ensure continuous improvement.
Celebrate the airport’s location
The nature of air travel can mean that some travelers will use an airport to catch a connecting flight but will not see anything of the country outside the airport walls. Even when the airport is their final destination, you have an opportunity to welcome travelers by creating a representation of the country. Consider offering hospitality which communicates the culture and aesthetic of the country itself. This will ignite their imagination and enhance their customer experience.
Empower the customer
What can complicate the customer service you provide is that not every traveler wants the same thing. Some are interested in engaging with you and are looking for attention and comfort provision, while others simply want to reach their destination with minimal interaction or fuss. You can provide for both types of customers so they can choose the service which suits them best. For example, by providing digital touchpoints as well as human associates, you can ensure all your customers are well looked after in the manner which suits them.