As Travel Season Ramps Up, More Millennials and Gen Z Take to the Skies and Turn to More Digital Channels to Engage with Airlines
New York, May 2, 2023 – The airlines that will stand out during the upcoming busy spring and summer travel season are those that are ready to support today’s most frequent travelers – millennials and Gen Zers – across a variety of digital channels such as instant messaging, video and text, according to a survey by Teleperformance Business Insights Lab.
While calling, email and web forms continue to be the customer service channels used most by airline travelers, nearly 70% of travelers who have contacted airline customer service before and after the pandemic say their interactions with airlines have changed since the ‘new normal’. Almost a quarter of travelers (24%) now say they’re branching out and trying new channels to contact the airlines, and a quarter (26%) report using more self-help options to get the support1.
These findings derive from the Teleperformance Business Insights Lab Survey, in which 87,000 consumer interviews were conducted across 20 sectors and 16 countries. Now in its ninth year, the survey queried consumers across topics ranging from customer service channel preferences and metrics, including more than 4,800 airline customers1. The Business Insights Lab looked into travelers' use of airline support channels and their preferences to help airlines understand how travelers want to be served and what channels airlines should consider adding to their contact options.
Digital Support Channels Are Getting Busier
Contacting airlines for help through an airline’s mobile app rose 29% since 2019. Instant messaging with airlines’ customer service was up 71% since before the pandemic, and texting airlines grew 105%. Travelers told Teleperformance they are also using other ways to seek help from airlines including automated chat and video. These trends are more pronounced across younger demographics.
“One of the most significant changes in the travel industry since the pandemic is the growing demand for flexibility among travelers. This includes a demand for more diverse contact options and travelers’ rising preference for digital channels that provide flexibility in how they receive help and support,” said Rahul Jolly, President of Global Travel and Hospitality, Teleperformance. “Building out and enhancing support capabilities across emerging digital channels can help airlines differentiate themselves, provide positive experiences and help customer retention.”
Other findings from the survey:
- One-click digital channels are gaining traction. Social media, instant messaging and click-to-call have gained foothold among millennials and Gen Zers, who are looking for easy, frictionless ways to reach airlines.
- The human touch prevails. When asked about real versus virtual support, 77% of travelers prefer to get help from a real person. Just 10% said they prefer getting help from a virtual assistant, while 13% were fine with both.
- Video please. Seven percent of travelers who contacted airlines used video to seek help, nearly double since before the pandemic. Of these, 45% sent a video to the airline explaining the issue.
Teleperformance, a global leader in digital business services, has more than 410,000 employees worldwide who deliver front- and back-office business services in 170 countries on behalf of clients.
About Teleperformance Business Insights Lab
Created in 2013, the Teleperformance Business Insights Lab has gathered thousands of actionable data through its Business Insights Lab Survey. Now in its ninth year, the survey analyzes the main trends in customer care improvements and preferences by country, channel, segment, and generation. The Business Insights Lab’s global survey continues to conduct thousands of interviews to discover the top trends in serving customers.
Through the Business Insights Lab, Teleperformance harnesses its extensive research and data to help brands and organizations learn in-depth details about customer behavior and preferences. Count on the Business Insights Lab to transform actionable insights into positive business results to increase revenue and growth.
1Online survey conducted of 4,803 airline customers across 16 countries between August and September 2022. Survey participants booked their flights and completed travel within the 12-month period preceding the survey date. Survey conducted following ICC/ESOMAR guidelines, with a sample population representative of general population for age and gender.
ABOUT TELEPERFORMANCE GROUP
Teleperformance (TEP – ISIN: FR0000051807 – Reuters: TEPRF.PA - Bloomberg: TEP FP), a global leader in digital business services, serves as a strategic partner to the world’s largest companies in many industries. It offers a One Office support services model including end-to-end digital solutions, which guarantee successful customer interaction and optimized business processes, anchored in a unique, comprehensive high touch, high tech approach. More than 410,000 employees, based in 91 countries, support billions of connections every year in over 300 languages and 170 markets, in a shared commitment to excellence as part of the “Simpler, Faster, Safer” process. This mission is supported by the use of reliable, flexible, intelligent technological solutions and compliance with the industry’s highest security and quality standards, based on Corporate Social Responsibility excellence. In 2022, Teleperformance reported consolidated revenue of €8,154 million (US$8.6 billion, based on €1 = $1.05) and net profit of €645 million.
Teleperformance shares are traded on the Euronext Paris market, Compartment A, and are eligible for the deferred settlement service. They are included in the following indices: CAC 40, STOXX 600, S&P Europe 350, MSCI Global Standard and Euronext Tech Leaders. In the area of corporate social responsibility, Teleperformance shares are included in the CAC 40 ESG since September 2022, the Euronext Vigeo Euro 120 index since 2015, the EURO STOXX 50 ESG index since 2020, the MSCI Europe ESG Leaders index since 2019, the FTSE4Good index since 2018 and the S&P Global 1200 ESG index since 2017.
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