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Transforming the Digital Customer Experience Through Messaging and Automation

As a low-cost airline, Volaris Airlines was looking for a way to deliver a great customer experience to its passengers while keeping operational costs down. Since partnering with Conversocial in 2017, Volaris has seen consumer engagement preferences transition to messaging from traditional channels. 

The Low-Cost Carrier Conundrum: Improving Customer Experience, While Driving Lower Costs

The battle among global and regional low cost carrier airlines (LCC’s) has always been about lowering costs, no matter what. The data is irrefutable: the lower the airfare, the more customers an airline is likely to have. To compete in this market, Volaris Airlines knew they needed to strike a balance between cost efficiencies which they could pass on to customers in the form of low airfares, and maintaining high customer satisfaction.

But in a market where almost 25% of the population has never used an airplane for travel, Volaris Airlines knew that in order to attract and retain first-time flyers, their primary competition was none other than the bus. To compete, Volaris underwent a digital transformation: putting messaging and automation at the heart of their customer experience management, facilitated by their partnership with Conversocial.

 

Platform Features Used

Messaging
Automation
Scaling
WhatsApp
Omnichannel
Innovation

About Volaris

In less than 10 years, Volaris Airlines has grown to be the top domestic Mexican airline and among the top three lowest cost operators in the world. Volaris Airlines is an ultra-low-cost carrier airline (LCC) with the best customer experience and lowest costs at the core of its vision and mission since the company’s inception. Customer preferences, technological advancements, and a scientific approach to cost reduction have always played key roles in driving business performance for the Mexican airline, and this is especially true when it comes to customer experience.
Industry
Travel - Airline
Location
Mexico
“The air transportation market is still only a fraction of the bus market. We have identified ~38 million Mexicans that have never traveled by plane. Approximately 6% of our passengers are first time flyers, and 10% considered taking a bus before purchasing a ticket on Volaris. A third of our 2018 growth was composed of first-time air travelers; we attracted them by offering airfare that was competitive with bus fares and by creating a more seamless, mobile-friendly customer experience to lure first-time flyers away and retain them for repeat travel.”

Hector Espinosa

Content, Social Media and Product Manager, Customer Engagement @ Volaris Airlines

Driving Digital Transformation Through Partnership with Conversocial

As a low-cost airline, Volaris Airlines was looking for a way to deliver a great customer experience to its passengers while keeping operational costs down. Since partnering with Conversocial in 2017, Volaris has seen consumer engagement preferences transition to messaging from traditional channels.

Year Over Year Growth of Messaging as Overall % of Inbound Customer Service Volume

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Digital CX Transformation Over 18 Months

Volaris2019_Graphs-01-2

 

An average of 14.5% of monthly inbound messaging conversations are resolved by a bot without the need for human agent assistance.

 

Over the course of their first 18 months using Conversocial’s Conversational Customer Experience Platform, and after having successfully been part of Facebook’s initial Messenger Chat roll out, messaging channels have outperformed every other customer-facing avenue in their contact center, with lower cost-to-serve and higher NPS scores than live chat or voice.

Today, Volaris has a fully operational omnichannel customer experience operation. They truly are an industry innovator, who fully understand the substantial business and consumer benefits of delivering Conversational Customer Experiences—enabled through messaging and automation.

 

Conversocial enabled Volaris Airlines to digitally transform their customer experience operations in just 18 months.
“Messaging as a customer service channel is no longer the future, it's a must- have. Through Conversocial, we have been able to invest in Messenger as one of our main service channels, enabling Volaris to not only improve response-times but significantly reduce costs keeping true to ourselves and our ultra-low-cost business model. Being able to listen and interact with our customers in ways our customers prefer, and in real-time when necessary, has significantly impacted our bottom line.”

Hector Espinosa

Content, Social Media and Product Manager, Customer Engagement at Volaris Airlines

Operationalizing an Omnichannel Customer Experience Strategy

Scaling Messenger Customer Engagement

The performance and consumer preference for Messaging led Volaris to methodically reduce reliance on more traditional, higher-cost channels like live chat and email. To improve customer service response times and agent productivity, Volaris tested Messenger Customer Chat on their website with 50% of visitors via a 6 month A/B split test.

After 6 months, Volaris saw a 29% reduction in handling time because 1 agent could now manage 5 interactions simultaneously versus only 1 while using phone call or webchat. As a result of the successful test, Volaris has implemented Messenger’s solution to 100% of web visitors, with an anticipated 83% reduction in cost per resolution.

 


Why such drastic efficiency differences? Live chat forces agents to handle conversations in a live, session-based manner, where it's not possible for agents to conduct more than 2-3 conversations concurrently. The asynchronous nature of Messenger allows agents to get up to speed quickly and handle numerous conversations at once to help optimize their time.


 

Messenger allowed Volaris to harness the asynchronous nature of social messaging, breaking free of the lack of concurrency of traditional “webchat” — as a result, the brand has reduced cost per resolution and reduced response times, while increasing response rate and customer satisfaction overall. Moreover, Volaris has been quick to recognize how complementary messaging is to automation and AI, with 14.5% of conversations handled via a bot without needed intervention by a human agent. This helps keep agents focused on the more complicated conversations where their involvement has the most positive impact on the customer experience.

 

Promoting Messaging as a Channel

The promotion of messaging customer engagement has resulted in 81% of all inbound service volume being received over messaging channels — with a 43% reduction in agent response time and a 29% reduction in average handling time — for Volaris.

Messenger Customer Chat: Replacing traditional web chat with Messenger Customer Chat allowed Volaris to provide customers with a familiar way of communicating with the brand while driving them into a much more convenient and cost-efficient channel. Not only did this promote Messenger as a more seamless channel for customers, but it also proved to be 83% more cost effective than traditional web chat.

 

VolarisMessenger

VolarisAd Click to Messenger Ads: Paid social options proved to be a powerful way for Volaris to drive customer engagement for new customers while promoting both messaging channels and their Messenger bot, “Vane”.
Removing Voice Options from Website and Email:  In addition to promoting messaging channels like Messenger and Twitter DM on the “Contact Us” page of their site, Volaris took the aggressive approach of removing phone numbers from their website entirely. Coupled with replacing phone numbers in email notifications with WhatsApp Business links, Volaris was able to reduce inbound call volume by 30%. VolarisFligh 

Messaging NPS

Net Promoter Score (NPS) and overall consumer sentiment for customers engaging with the brand via messaging has trended high, showing that there is a clear consumer preference for these channels compared to e-mail and voice:

  • +57.8 NPS on Messenger, past 12 months (April ’18 - March ’19)
  • +18 points higher than Industry average for airlines of +39 NPS

Volaris2019_Graphs-04-1

NPS of Voice Channels Compared to Messaging

Over a 12 month period between March 2018 to March 2019, NPS scores on messaging channels were an average of 10% higher than voice.

 

Voice Deflection via WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp Business for Customer Experience

WhatsApp is one of the biggest messaging platforms in the world, with over 1.5 billion users. The number of messages sent every day is over 3x peak global SMS volume. In LATAM it completely dominates the way that people communicate. WhatsApp Business offered Volaris the ability to provide their customers a more simplified, reliable and efficient level of customer engagement, increasing loyalty while saving time and reducing costs.

Proactive Channel PromotionVolaris2019_Phone-Email

In a proactive effort to reduce costly inbound call volumes, Volaris has taken a multi-prong approach to drive people to WhatsApp Business:

  • Removing phone numbers from the “contact us” page on their website.
  • Replacing call to action with a WhatsApp Business CTA in flight notification emails

 

Volaris WhatsApp Business Use Case

  • Customer Demographics: WhatsApp is THE messaging channel for LATAM, encompassing a wider demographic than just public social channels (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). This has allowed Volaris to reach new audiences who previously were reluctant to engage digitally.
  • Connected Commerce: WhatsApp offers complete encryption and security, increasing consumer trust. As a result, WhatsApp has the potential to open up exciting new revenue opportunities through customer engagement and instant messaging.

Volaris_WhatsApp-1

 

Impact of Using WhatsApp Business

  • 7% of flight notification respondents deflected from voice to WhatsApp.
  • 4.25K customers engaged with WhatsApp in the first 60 days, resulting in a projected annual cost savings of $192K.

Projected annual savings of diverting customer to WhatsApp Business from phone off $192K.

Volaris wants interacting with their business to be as easy as messaging a friend. WhatsApp offers this. 

 

 

 

Delivering a Conversational Customer Experience, Powered by Messaging

 

“We understood the importance of being able to listen and interact with our customers in real-time as a competitive advantage that we could not afford to miss out on. Messaging has allowed us to not only improve our responsiveness but significantly reduce costs as well, keeping true to ourselves and our ultralow-cost business model.”

Hector Espinosa

Content, Social Media and Product Manager, Customer Engagement @ Volaris Airlines

Through Messaging and Automation, Volaris Now Deliver a Customer Experience Spanning a Travelers Lifecycle

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Learn how to deliver a Conversational Customer Experience through the combined power of messaging and adaptive automation. 

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