Navigating the Skies in the New Normal: How is customer service in aviation undergoing transformation
The pandemic has severely affected the aviation industry, causing airlines to struggle with maintaining both business and customer satisfaction. To address these challenges most players had to make desperate but significant adjustments to their operations, including reducing the number of flights and routes, handling overheads on precautionary measures while cutting costs, and managing a heavily disrupted customer experience (CX) and quivering customer trust.
An Outlook for Aviation in 2022-23 – Renewed Trust in Customer Experience (CX) Transformation
The air travel began picking up pace in the FY 2021-22. However, despite an increase of 27% from 2020 to 2021, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline revenues, nevertheless, remained 44% below the pre-COVID figures in 2019. While still continuing to recover in 2022, the industry is increasingly realizing the importance of CX transformation strategies and 2023 will serve as a year of implementation for the various plans and policies that were put on hold during the pandemic. A report by Skift in 2020 indicated that 43% of travel brands acknowledged the heightened importance of proceeding with the digital transformation initiatives that were already in progress prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. With investments pouring into new age technologies such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT), airlines are aiming to improve their operational efficiency, and offer a more personalized and seamless CX to customers.
How are AI, ML & Data Analytics redefining the Future of Air Travel
Contactless and self-service technologies such as web check-in and airport kiosks, popularized in the pre-COVID years, and further utilized during COVID to eliminate passenger queues and maintain social distancing, fundamentally redefined air travel by creating a self-driven and convenient customer experience. So, when the pandemic hit, the airlines had to change the way they interact with their customers, putting customers at the core of their customer service strategies.
Many players are realizing the potential of AI, Machine Learning (ML), data and behavior analytics to offer a more personalized and exclusive customer experience (CX). In fact, the global market for AI in aviation is projected to grow by 35.38% (CAGR) from 2022 to 2030. Here is a quick look at the most popular AI-driven technologies that are reforming the customer service in aviation, currently.
- Chatbots and other forms of AI-driven customer service can provide 24/7 support, answer frequently asked questions, and provide real-time information to improve the passenger experience. Chatbots can also help customers with a range of tasks efficiently, such as booking flights or changing reservations and resolving queries on flight status, gate information, and other important details.
- Travel Data and Passenger Behavior Analytics allow airlines to identify customer preferences and past travel patterns and utilize this data to anticipate passenger needs. Many players are using it to design targeted marketing programs and offers, and recommend highly personalized options for seats, meals, and other services; whereas few others are beginning to predict which flights are likely to be overbooked, and to offer passengers alternative flights that are less likely to be overbooked, making their travel experience hassle free.
- Smart Travel Assistance Tools are gaining an increasing popularity by integrating the power of AI, data, and machine learning with a myriad of travel apps and services such as hotels, mobility apps, restaurants, etc. Airlines can offer customized apps that accept voice or text commands from the user and help them to plan, book, and manage their trips – by instantly finding the best choices from flights, hotels, or car rentals to recommendations on things to do and visit at their destination per their budget.
It is likely that the future of air travel will be significantly influenced by these technology-innovations as they not only improve the CX by providing a more tailor-fit experience to customers but also help the airlines to increase their revenue by offering value-added services to customers who are willing to pay a little more.
Teleperformance – a Partner for Your CX Success
Given that airlines have just started to scratch the surface of the latent power of AI, ML and other advanced technologies the future of customer service in aviation holds endless possibilities. Imagine the opportunity of capturing customer trust with the use of virtual reality and augmented reality to offer them an immersive, virtual tour of the cabin. However, to create differentiated experiences for their customers, it is critical for airlines to choose their CX journey partner with foresight – a team that has proven expertise and deep-set experience in delivering omnichannel CX solutions.
Teleperformance (TP) has been a trusted CX partner with more than 6000 experts providing digital experience management support for over 16 clients across 14 countries. Connect with an expert to know more about the exceptional benefits and results we have delivered to our clients.