The Key to Great Customer Experience is Contextualized Personal Communications

A little background… A few weeks ago, I was flying American Airlines from Richmond Virginia back to New York. Due to weather conditions, a number of flights were being cancelled.

Every day, American Airlines offers 5 direct flights from Richmond to New York. I was scheduled to depart on the first flight at 5:32AM. When my flight was cancelled, American informed me of the cancellation the night before, automatically booking me on the next flight out. However, the next morning as I was leaving for the airport, I received a text message informing me that, again, my flight had been cancelled… Long story short, I finally made it out on the last flight that day at 4:17PM, and made it home.

The proactiveness of American informing me in real-time of the changes, and automatically adjusting my schedule, was extremely helpful. I felt that not only were they considering the passenger safety by adjusting flights due to weather conditions, but they were also truly doing what they could to make an unpleasant experience a little easier.

When I had finally gotten home, I began thinking about the whole experience. If American could proactively inform me about real-time changes, could there be an opportunity for American, or any other airline, to further enhance their communication with their customers, allowing their customers to make alternative decisions?

According to a recent study by CARAVAN Omnibus, a division of Engine, “Prompt and accurate communication, particularly regarding cancellations and delays, is critical to passenger satisfaction with an airline.” In fact, airlines that offer “more detailed personalized information that, among other things, could help passengers decide if they should consider alternate plans,” should see an increase in loyalty and promotion. This increase is particularly seen amongst business travellers, with nearly 60% of business travellers being more likely to fly and recommend such an airline, and nearly half of ALL passengers agreeing.

There are a lot of reasons why travellers choose one airline over another. But only by combining multiple data sets together, can you reveal the motivations behind these decisions, which is the key to understanding how to drive personalized relevant content to customers. This would not only mean the connection of operational data with CRM, but also with social media, digital behavioural data, geolocation data, etc. All of these data sets, and more, are critical in this process. This is something that Engine delivers through our Connect capabilities, which has not only driven significant savings for our clients but also driven greater customer loyalty.

Using data in this way goes beyond airlines and fits for all direct to consumer brands.  By using data to understand how to promptly respond and personalize your communications (even in stressful situations), your customers will feel understood and the experience will reap rewards.


Learn how Engine can help increase your customer experience.