Customer Relationship Management

How airlines can use tech and bulk SMS marketing for improved customer service

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Chatbots in the airline industry

There are so many new airlines out there these days. The days of just one airline are a thing of the past, along with smoking on board and dressing up to fly. And because of the intense competition in this sector, the only way an airline can be sure of repeat business is to ensure customers enjoy their experience with the brand. How can airlines do this? By constantly improving their customer service. And the most effective way to reach your customers and leave a lasting positive impression? Without any doubt, it'll be by making use of technology - including bulk SMS marketing.

A recent study by consulting and strategy firm Accenture found that embracing digital could be the key differentiator in this “hyper-competitive market”. Digital has the power to change the way that airlines operate, the study said.

“Digital enables a new level of data-driven collaboration across all airline functions collectively – connected people, processes, technology and culture to deliver a more seamless customer experience.

“To really compete, digital innovation must touch every aspect of the airline business, evolving 'digital strategy' into 'business strategy'.”

It’s clear then that airlines need to fully embrace digital and not just see it as an optional extra. Here are some tips on how they can do just that.

Bulk SMS marketing in air travel

Everyone who has taken a flight in the not too distant past knows the stress of delayed flights or changes to the schedule. This can be incredibly stressful for travelers, who often place blame on the airline despite the possibility of responsibility falling elsewhere. It's in moments like this that bulk SMS marketing can be incredibly useful.

SMS is by far the easiest and most cost-effective way to keep customers informed. Many airlines have already started sending out bulk SMS messages to passengers whose gates have changed or flights have been delayed. It’s also a useful tool for check-in reminders. These messages are low in cost but have massive benefits for improving customer service which will likely lead to an improved rate of repeat bookings.

Our SMS Platform is an example of a solution which allows any business, including airlines, to SMS-enable any application or website, and facilitate international two-way messaging. SMS Platform is the ideal way to reach your customers whenever and wherever in the world they are – ideal for both airlines and travelers.

Airlines and chatbots

Many airlines have adopted chatbots with great success. A chatbot is able to help travelers with simple requests far faster than an employee would be able to. In addition, the cost to operate a chatbot is much lower than to pay multiple contact center staff members. Its ability to answer commonly asked questions quickly and knowledgeably, based on scores of previous interactions, makes it the technology offering that airlines didn’t know they needed.

When adopting new technology, it’s essential that airlines do it in the areas which matter most to customers – arriving at their destination safely and on schedule. The previously mentioned study says: “What is the value of receiving a favorite welcome cocktail, mixed exactly to your liking when your bag is not on the flight with you, or the plane is delayed because line maintenance was informed late of a defect?”

Well, that cuts to the point, doesn’t it? There is little reason to be overly concerned about adopting technologies unless they truly benefit the customer. And by embracing technology, like bulk SMS marketing and SMS Platform, airlines can ensure that no customer connection, both literal and figurative, is ever lost again.

If you’d like to read more about the technology which airlines can adopt, including big data, have a look at our recent article. It discusses how the use of big data is taking the travel industry to new heights. You could say it’s an example of technology adoption that’s really taking off.

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