I love to travel. Ask me to go on a trip with you, and I will say yes! Travelling can be exciting, but also can be some of the most stressful experiences. The customer journey to get from the research and ordering tickets stage all the way through to the destination airport is full of ups and downs. Below is a customer journey map to see the happy, worried, and upset emotions that we all have too frequently experienced while getting from point A to point B.
The digital customer experience from the various airlines I have used typically is similar. A mobile app with features and functions such as providing flight status and traffic updates (pre-travel) and extending the experience on-board through the use of In-flight Experience (IFE) functionality and enhancing the experience at destination by facilitating ground transportation bookings and destination activities. While these examples have kept airline brands front and center, in my experience the app experience is a bit fragmented and there is room for improvement.
Seventy-two percent of travelers with smartphones agree that when researching on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the travel company providing the information.5 In other words, they’re more loyal to their need than to any particular brand. For travel brands, this means you have to earn (and re-earn) each person’s consideration in every micro-moment they experience.
So what should airlines focus on? Well, to start, make sure your app provides opportunities to relieve the above pain points. Instead of finding out the flight is delayed from a screen there should without a doubt be push notifications provided. Let’s bring that concept to the next level: once the user gets the push notification, if there are any other flights available with the same final destination, bring that up in the app to show any potential options. Micro-moments truly shape this customer journey, and the majority of those moments will be on a mobile device.
Be relevant to travelers’ need in the exact moment. Connect them to the inspiration they’re looking for and to the answers they want. Delays happen, but airlines can be there to offer solutions via data-driven personalization in order to delight and retain their customers.
Google/Ipsos Connect, travel playbook omnibus, n=1,063, among U.S. travelers 18+ who use a smartphone and for whom the statement is applicable, Apr. 2016.