The Importance of Digital Engagement in the Airline Industry with the Focus on Baby Boomers

Creating a good customer relationship and implementing a strategic customer engagement is important for every organization in order to reach a long term relationship with their clients. Companies aim to maximize their value, and since customers are most valuable to organizations, it is crucial to apply the five principals of customer engagement management of Marketo. When conducting these principles, companies associate with their customers individually and based on what they do. Moreover, they are connected continuously over time, based on their outcome as well as everywhere they are (Marketo, 2015).

Furthermore, high service standards and cooperations are of great importance. This can be reached by implementing an omni-channel service. In this way, the company starts their interactions in one channel and completes their cooperations in another. People will be delivered the same consistent experience over time. For example in the airline industry, customers should have the same experience when booking a flight no matter if they use a mobile app, the website or go to a travel agency. All channels need to deliver a smooth and easy path to lead customers to purchase a product without any complications.

Not only the omni-channel approach is used to deliver customers the same consistent experience in every channel, but also the relationship culture is important to focus more on customers. In the aviation industry, airlines need to understand their clients and be able to emphasize with them. The relationship culture is also of great significance because airlines depend on their customers, good reputations as well as positive recommendations and word of mouth (Peelen & Beltman, 2013).

Setting the focus on a certain target market, the “Baby-Boomers”, some changes might be crucial to create positive customer engagement. This age range includes people born between mid-1940 and 1960’s. Even though many people from this age group are technologically up to date, and use and work on the computer a lot, there are still people from this generation who are not familiar with today’s technology. In consequence, it is important to find a way to connect this target group in form of digital engagement via their website.

To fill this gap by focusing on the needs of the older generations, airlines should implement certain steps to make it easier for this target market to get familiar and consume products with a positive outcome for both parties. Recommendations such as sharing videos that show instructions on how to use the website, face to face communications such as skype, or prints that make it possible to enlarge the content of the websites would have positive consequences for airlines. With these steps they would make a step towards one of their important target groups and therefore create a beneficial outcome.

To conclude, the implementation of these steps might be reasonable in order to satisfy unexperienced (elderly) people and therefore increase the number of purchases via the own website. There are also many portals and travel agents that offer flights with different airlines for the same prices as the websites do. In this way, the company applies good customer engagement from the point of view of the customer, as it gives them freedom of choice, but it has a negative financial impact on the company, as compensations have to be paid.

Bibliography

Marketo (2015), The 5 Principles of Engagement Marketing, Retrieved from Marketo: http://uk.marketo.com/ebooks/elements-of-engagement-marketing/

Peelen, E., Beltman, R. (2013), Customer Relationship Management, 2nd edition, p.72, UK: Pearson

Photo credits: Banco do Nordeste used under cc 2.0

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