Airlines have suffered from a major issue for as long as I can remember in my more than 20 years of supporting their IT transformation initiatives: disparate technology.
As a frequent flyer, I’ve experienced the disruption this can cause. When IT is disconnected from other departments, it can make routing passenger issues to the right teams a logistical nightmare and increase wait times by many hours. Only with a modern digital service backbone can airlines create satisfying customer journeys and push ahead of the competition.
With a consolidated passenger platform, airlines can implement intelligent self-service capabilities, such as chatbots and automatic notifications, to enhance the existing mobile app experience. This lets passengers quickly find the information they need and reduces the workload on call center staff.
More customer-facing channels can be introduced, and onboarding journeys can be streamlined for better, faster services.
Automatic flight notifications can direct passengers to virtual agents or relevant information pages, vastly reducing wait times and freeing employees to focus on other tasks. Passengers can use a mobile app to reserve seats, preorder meals, and find flight documents.
After a flight, passengers can automatically receive postflight travel options and the fastest way to baggage claim.
An airline can share personalised rewards and benefits via a loyalty program integrated with its mobile app. It can also drive future interest by sending passengers travel recommendations based on their travel history.
Let's take a look at the difference digital transformation can make for both passengers and employees.
Teresa, an airline passenger, wants to take a suitcase and her bike to her destination. Because of the airline’s digital transformation, she can use its mobile app to access a luggage service and connect to the call center. She provides information about her luggage, arrival date, hotel address, and luggage pickup date.
Jody, a recently hired customer agent at Lufthansa, has completed her basic training via the onboarding app. After receiving Teresa’s request, Jody confidently navigates her agent workspace to view Teresa’s customer record and the available options. Guided Decisions help front-line and middle-office agents resolve complex issues fast.
Overseeing this via the Now Platform, Customer Agent Manager Jesse can see the interaction between Teresa and Jody and use the data to inform managerial decisions, such as employee service reviews. Jesse can even add Teresa’s query to the airline’s frequently asked questions page and update the chatbot so it can give more helpful responses in the future.
Finally, Teresa receives a notification via WhatsApp that her request has been processed. Once she deboards her flight, the app notifies her that her luggage will arrive within the hour. Happy with her experience, she uses the app to leave positive feedback.
Digital transformation brings:
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