Hello summer, finally!

With schools out for the summer, many of us will be looking forward to a hopefully sunny and relaxing break, whilst the travel and leisure industry prepare for one of the busiest times of the year.

Cruise operators, travel companies, airlines, hotels, booking agents, theme parks: things have changed. The digital world can now offer virtual experiences of what customers can expect. Changes to the way people now travel pose customer service challenges for those in the travel and hospitality sector such as balancing passenger comfort with operational efficiency while delivering a unique experience reflecting the destination.

So how should this sector evolve their customer service offering to deliver true customer-centric experiences? A critical factor will be the use of online technology as it is worth considering how travellers are using technology today. In today’s blog we will focus mainly on air travel, as so many Brits set off on their summer holidays abroad.

Cloud-based self-service technology

Airports today are hubs of technological activity, with travellers using smart devices to stay connected to their flights and self-serve during the check-in process. In years to come we believe the momentum of cloud-based technology will grow and play a critical part in the airport of the future, especially for airlines wanting to offer optimal customer experience to justify price premiums and deliver customer service to boost brand reputation.

Self-service platforms will revolutionise air travel

As a result of mobile technologies, passenger processing has evolved significantly with mobile boarding passes and supplementary offerings through wireless broadband. In addition to helping airlines differentiate their services, online- and bag check-ins dramatically impact on delivering a positive customer experience with travellers not having to queue.

In partnership with airlines, airports have made tremendous improvements to increase communication around flight status and service disruption.

Travellers today expect to know about a flight change even before they arrive at the airport, delivered through text, automated messages, or email. They expect a seamless and efficient service so they can get to their destination faster.

When it comes to technology, most airlines are adapting by incorporating cloud-based web self-service technologies in order to improve operational efficiencies in today’s challenging marketplace. But there are still airlines out there, fearful of changing their online customer service delivery, happy with a dynamic FAQ section or phone number to contact. There appears to be a misconception that customers don’t mind being kept on hold, waiting to speak to a contact centre operator when they require assistance, rather than being able to find answers to their queries themselves via an organisation’s website. However, in a recent survey by Amdocs, a staggering 91% of survey respondents said they would use an online knowledge-base if it were available.

And it’s not just about providing a one online channel where customers can self-serve answers to their queries customer experience needs to be effortless and consistent across multiple channels. Integrated AI-driven channels such as Virtual Agents , Live Chat , Internal Knowledge-base and Intelligent Web Form are all tools that can assist in re-focussing efforts to improve the customer experience.

Why not visit our resource section for more insight on digital customer engagement?