In 2022, passenger travel demand outpaced capacity. As a result, passengers frequently reported dissatisfaction with their experience and diminished brand loyalty. Flight delays, lost luggage, and canceled flights became an unfortunate norm as airlines—already juggling inflation, labor shortages, and wage pressure—scrambled to keep pace.
But these structural issues and ever-increasing customer expectations also represent an opportunity for airlines to set themselves apart in the market.
By improving your self-service and customer support capabilities with a platform like chat commerce, you can help retain existing customers and win over new ones. In this guide on chat commerce implementation tips, we’ll show you just how easy it is to seamlessly slide this tool into your existing tech stack and processes.
A chat commerce platform enables airlines to connect, interact, and transact with customers via a mobile-first solution. With an increasing number of passengers using their smartphones to power their travel, chat commerce enables airlines to enjoy significant cost savings and operational efficiencies. Common advantages include the following:
In light of declining brand loyalty, airlines must cut through the noise and go above and beyond with their customer service. This may sound like a tall order, but it can easily be accomplished with transparent communication and modern conveniences that improve the overall experience from booking to flying.
Chat commerce helps airlines build brand loyalty by improving the customer experience through rapid, real-time, and personalized communication facilitated by the device travelers already use most—their smartphones. Chat commerce empowers airlines to send helpful, actionable, and empathetic messages at multiple touch points along the passenger lifecycle. Or, it seamlessly resolves inquiries, concerns, and issues more efficiently via SMS or WhatsApp.
Small conveniences, personal touches, and instant interactions via customers’ preferred communication channels are the recipe for restoring brand loyalty and trust.
In the current environment, simply hiring more workers won’t solve many of these issues airlines face. Now, airlines must focus on more controllable and cost-effective solutions, especially in light of inflation and wage pressure.
Enter chat commerce.
Via text messaging, airline passengers can gain 24/7 access to support and related services without involving service agents for low-level tasks like resending boarding passes. By automating many customer-service tasks, you can free employees to focus on other value-add experiences. And with menu-based automation, you can accelerate tasks and reduce customer friction, lowering your costs while building their loyalty.
Additionally, with transaction services, airlines can sell, distribute, and manage payments for the airline's digital goods and services within chat, which increases customer engagement and spending. For example, they can grow revenue by promoting direct offers to travelers who can accept and pay for them without navigating to another app or calling an agent.
All through mobile messaging, customers can:
Book flights or upgrade seats
Purchase lounge passes
Purchase additional baggage allowance
Purchase air miles and more.
With airlines already facing staffing shortages and other bandwidth constraints, current employees need all the help they can get. How can airlines continue to do more with fewer people?
As mentioned above, chat commerce automates routine customer-related tasks—such as customer support, account management, and transaction and payment services. This enables personnel to do more while freeing up customer support staff to focus on more complex, demanding issues. By providing quick and efficient support through preferred channels like SMS, WhatsApp, and Apple Messages, airlines can improve customer satisfaction and reduce customer support workload.
With chat commerce automation performing the heavy lifting on simple customer service tasks, airlines can refocus their recruitment efforts on quality hires rather than volume to fill remaining customer service gaps.
Chat commerce empowers airlines to engage and transact with more customers than ever. By using the mobile apps that customers already prefer and use, you can meet them where they are. This is particularly true for Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X demographics, who all place mobile messaging as their top way to communicate.
Modern travelers want more access, convenience, and personalization.
With Chat Commerce, you can deliver the fast and familiar digital customer experience they expect via mobile messaging. Additionally, Chat Commerce allows for personalized communication and promotions, which can further increase customer engagement and attract new business. These features enable you to reach a wider audience and appeal to competitors’ dissatisfied travelers.
If you’re considering implementing a chat commerce solution, you must approach this process as judiciously as any vendor-provided tech solution. But overall, the implementation process is straightforward and minimally disruptive.
Taking a measured approach toward platform selection and preparing ahead of the implementation ensures a smooth, successful, and swift integration with your other solutions.
The following tips will help streamline the process and ensure you partner with the right solution.
Evaluate your cost needs – To begin, you should evaluate how your airline uses its current resources. Examine your costs, budgets, and technology allocations—especially related to customer experience, success, and support—to find the optimal chat commerce platform.
Determine your non-negotiable features – What are your must-have features critical to your airline’s customer service? You need an app built to deliver the experience customers expect from your brand while meeting the needs of your modern business. Ideally, your chat commerce platform should:
Provide two-way messaging
Enable call center integration
Deliver self-service, account management, and transaction services to passengers' phones.
Set goals – To measure progress or change, you need to set benchmarks and establish related metrics. By establishing clear, measurable goals for your chat commerce implementation, you can determine early on whether implementation stays on schedule and the platform achieves its intended impact.
Consider integration with existing tech stacks and processes – The best platform will enable you to seamlessly integrate with existing systems, whether it’s your CRM, booking system, or customer support tools.
Think about scale – You should only choose a platform that can scale alongside your business as it grows. The platform should be capable of handling increased traffic or spikes in traffic.
Remember payment methods – The platform needs to support a wide range of instant payment methods.
Don’t overlook security – Your selected platform should comply with relevant data protection regulations, have robust security and anti-fraud measures, and include two-factor authentication.
Today, chat commerce platforms are a tool that can be leveraged by both airlines and passengers alike.
Chat commerce is a fast, convenient, and preferred way for travelers to get real-time customer support while managing flight reservations, bookings, and upgrades. And for airlines, it’s a tool you can use to build brand loyalty, control costs, avoid staffing headaches, and maximize your reach.
With Clicaktell’s Chat Commerce platform, getting started couldn’t be easier.
As the world’s first chat commerce telecom solution, our preconfigured tool can integrate with your existing systems and processes effortlessly. From SMS and two-way channels to automation, call center integrations, and more—Clickatell can do it all.
Are you ready to step into the future of business messaging? Get in touch with us today.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.