Airlines are always seeking to improve the journey of their customers by making it as comfortable as they can. Many might recall the promotional add of KLM in which they highlight the fun and excitement of traveling by surprising duped customers with small gifts when they started to complain on social media. The main objective of KLM was to take away the boredom in a fun and practical way and turn the boredom into happiness. Another profound example was the so called ”lost and found dog” promotion campaign in which a dog returned the lost items of customers to them. Aforementioned examples are ways of creating customer engagement. However the question remains whether this form of customer engagement has been largely exploited or is there still room for improvement?
In order to guarantee a personal touch towards customers one needs to gather and analyze personal data. To ”get to know” your customer you could look up his interest and hobbies via social media like Facebook or Twitter. In this way you can make use of this information to boost your product in the market. But in this way you only know a few facts about the customer and it surely won’t provide customer engagement. To establish customer engagement communication is needed and also customer knowledge. The focus on customer communication is very important in order to have a long-term succes of any business. This can also serve as a valuable reinforcement tool to solidify the purchase of your products. One of the main communication failures of companies is that they forget to communicate with their customers for extended periodes and this causes them to forget about your company. A simple act of staying in touch is the phenomenal newsletter, e-mails or even the occasion in-person visit.
Some airlines are very good in communicating with their costumers like KLM. To make your customers or your potential customers engaged in your company it’s likely to be interactive with them. For instance they provide customer engagement throughout a game like Transavia did with contriving a new slogan for their airplane, which ended up in a nightmare. Through this game Transavia generated greater awareness and ensured that people got more involved with the company. There were also many complaints after the game. Transavia solved these personally with customers by inviting them to the headquarters and apologize.
Today it’s more about building a dialogue with customers across multiple channels and while doing this you should stay relevant and not indiscriminately blasting them. This is the key to succes for a value proposition. Within the airline industry automation or self-service has become increasingly a high-demand feature. IVA’s (Intelligent virtual assistans) enables customers to benefit from faster service on their mobile devices and it reduces the costs up to 125% to 150% when airlines implementing them.
Still the communication between the airlines and their (potential) customers are the key to success if they want to provide customer engagement. The important thing is that you communicate clear and obvious to the customer, but also you would like to let them feel that they are involved in the airline and that they have influence. In addition, airlines must always be aware what their customers wants and what kind of values they attach. The key to success is still simply the customer.
Chris Joseph. (n.d.). Importance of Communicating and Meeting Customer Requirements. Retrieved from: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-communicating-meeting-customer-requirements-11774.html
Contactcenterworld. (2016). Article : Top 10 Customer Engagement Trends for 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.contactcenterworld.com/view/contact-center-article/top-10-customer-engagement-trends-for-2016-part-1.aspx
Danny Oosterveen. (2011). Transavia zoekt slogan! ontaardt in PR-nachtmerrie. Retrieved from: http://www.marketingfacts.nl/berichten/20110330_transavia_zoekt_slogan_ontaardt_in_pr-nachtmerrie
Michael Berger. (2013). The New Trends in Customer Engagement. Retrieved from: