As an association of twenty airlines, SkyTeam’s mission is to create a seamless travel experience through operational excellence while maintaining a customer focus. This is particularly important for the SkyPriority offering, where the aim is to give high-value customers a consistent, premium experience. However, covering over 1,000 airports, SkyTeam faces the daunting task of creating and implementing such services across a group of disparate members with unique characteristics, cultures, languages and geographies.
SkyTeam sought to bridge the divide between themselves, their members and the end customer. To guarantee a consistent superior customer experience, they wanted to capture experiences from SkyPriority customers throughout all SkyPriority touchpoints.
To become truly customer-centric, we onboarded a network of high value customers into a community that allows real-time feedback across touchpoints via a proprietary mobile application. Using near-field-communication technology, feedback is prompted at relevant occasions (e.g. when customers enter an airport), allowing passengers to review each journey touchpoint (e.g. check-in, boarding…). Next to completing these short surveys, the broader narrative of their experience is captured through pictures and bottom-up comments, ensuring feedback is always embedded in real-life context.
Rather than the traditional feedback loop of days, weeks or months, all SkyPriority managers can access a customized online dashboard with real-time response data – survey gures, stories and photos – allowing them to continuously have a finger on the pulse. Back-end system triggers notify relevant stakeholders of critical incidents, allowing to address them immediately. By embedding these continuous feedback loops, SkyTeam moved from a ‘push’ to a ‘pull’ approach.
6-months into the project we examined the impact of the program for customers and SkyPriority managers. Insight goals were overachieved with more than 34,000 audits performed by more than 8,000 SkyPriority members.
The key objective of the research program was to have an impact on customer experience. Customers should feel they are helping to build and improve the SkyPriority experience and that their feedback triggers actionability internally, without being disruptive to their premium experience.
Airline managers strongly supported the use of the program, with 8 out of 10 indicating the program allows them to better understand the needs of high-value customers, better envision the strategy and be er execute their roles as SkyPriority managers. 95% said the program provides more relevant data and insights. We also found that users of the app gave significantly higher scores to measures of collaboration. Our research served as customer service with a 9% increase in SkyPriority feeling. Participants felt they had an impact on the future of SkyPriority and that SkyTeam truly wanted to learn from their customers.
With the research program, which won the Silver ESOMAR Effectiveness Award, SkyTeam succeeded in changing the SkyPriority managers’ hearts (establish a culture of customer- centricity), minds (better understand customer needs) and actions (fuel operational excellence). The program is now expanding in scope, adding ‘lounges’ as a touchpoint, as well as methodology, including additional qualitative discussion techniques to get an even better understanding of the context airlines are operating in.
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