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Airlines Must Use Emerging Technology to Continually Improve Customer Satisfaction

May 01, 2021, By Legacy Post

Airlines typically rank very low on customer service scores - barely above cable and internet service providers. So what can we learn about customer service from airlines that score highly, like Southwest?

The latest data from the provider of real-time and historical flight information and insights to the global aviation community point to major pain points for travelers in 2021. As flights get more expensive and delays abound, this is leading to an oh-so-familiar general unhappiness with the airline industry. Airlines are almost always near the bottom of the list when it comes to customer satisfaction, with an average score of 69 on a 100-point scale. This puts the industry only slightly above cable television and Internet service providers, the two lowest on the list. 

On average, airlines score in the 60s, but some, like JetBlue and Southwest, have up until recently scored in the 80s. It’s worth taking a look at what makes these companies different and what lessons we can apply to help the airline industry as a whole.  

Admittedly, we think companies that put customer service first, in terms of time, money, and benefits for their employees, see those costs come back in a huge way in terms of customer impressions. 

Southwest Airlines has been a leader in customer satisfaction for years, and as an Alvaria client, have always looked to stay ahead of the curve by expanding its contact center and workforce optimization solutions and staying on the cutting edge with a full suite of cloud-delivered technology. Southwest integrates customer service into multiple channels in their company by: 

  • Using different channels to achieve different strategic goals 
  • Recognizing the value of customer contact in building loyalty 
  • Understanding what their customers value 
  • Integrating emerging consumer technologies 

Alaska Airlines listened to their contact center agents when they asked for telecommuting options- even before 2020 - and recorded a 4.9% gain in productivity. That means an increase in production equaling 12 extra full-time employees.  

Another way to meet customer service challenges is by looking at the specific needs of your customers and finding a way to meet that demand. Virgin Atlantic saw a lot of time wasted—both for the company and customers—by routing calls between departments. With carefully managed implemented Alvaria call center solutions to streamline their processes and automate routine calls, the company was able to decrease costs, improve agent productivity, and increase customer satisfaction. 

The news for airlines isn’t all bad. With customer- oriented companies leading the way, airlines have been performing better and trending upwards for over 15 years.  

But with customer satisfaction rates hovering around 60%, there’s still a lot of room to grow, let’s not forget it’s also a challenging time to be a business, let alone a major industry. As more companies get back to prioritizing customers and not just weathering the storm, workforce systems must be implemented and customized that meet that demand; this, in turn can help lead to more satisfied customers that look forward to traveling instead of dreading it. 

How does your company use emerging call center technology to improve customer satisfaction? 

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