Messaging proves to be 83% more cost effective while driving higher customer satisfaction in our latest case study with Volaris Airlines.
In last weeks blog we discovered that, compared to two years ago, people are more likely to get in touch with customer care teams through private Social Messaging channels, such as Facebook Messenger and Twitter DM, than public ones. We continued our...
Customer care has always been paramount to the perceived quality of service within the airline industry. But for airlines, being there for customers in real-time goes further than just response times. The traveller of today has higher expectations and lower resistance to brand change. They have been empowered, finding their voice over new social platforms both in public and private channels.
Following a report by Engagement Labs we are proud to announce that our customer, Alaska Airlines, has been ranked first place out of the top 10 US airlines for delivering customer service over Twitter, with a respectable second place on Instagram, and fourth place on Facebook.
With 150 planes forming its fleet, Alaska Airlines has always had innovation in its product DNA. Alaska Air was the first to develop satellite guidance, a navigation technique that has transformed landing at Alaska’s tricky airports. That innovation has found its way into their social customer service channels, with the release of a report by Engagement Labs showing that Alaska Air is leading the way with customer connections over social channels and demonstrating best practices for airlines.
All travel is a service experience. In-the-moment customer care is rarely more urgent than when you’re stuck at the airport, driving a rental car, or staying in a hotel. And while review sites have a huge impact on the travel industry, reviews are generally given *after* an experience has finished. If you can’t help your customer as they live-Tweet “the worst train ride ever”, it’s too late.
By their nature, traditional service channels have never really satisfied the needs of traveling customers. Travelers don’t have time to wait two days for an email response. They can’t web-chat on a desktop computer when they’re on the road. And they certainly don’t have the patience to sit on hold as a robotic voice tells them how important their call is.
Historically, airlines have struggled to break even. The economic atmosphere improved this year, resulting in an inverse relationship for customer service. How sustainable is this growth? Can airlines afford to forget about the customer even for a second?
Large Numbers, Small Margin.
When we think about airlines, we think big stuff. A $787 billion dollar industry, flying 3.3 billion passengers for thousands of miles across the globe, with more than 1,400 new aircraft, creating 57 million jobs.
But when we get to the bottom line, the average profit an airline makes on each passenger is a mere $8.27 dollars, equivalent to roughly a 4% operating margin. That means that when you spend $200 dollars on a plane ticket to visit your family over holiday break, your airline retains profits big enough to afford two Double Whoppers at McDonald’s. And that profit is at an all-times high.
Compare this to other industries, like telecommunications and banking, where companies make margins of 11% and up to 15%, respectively.