Companies into customer service business want to recognize their customers, and a new system developed by British Airways is set to take that recognition to a whole new level, even enabling its staff to put a face to the name before the customer sets foot in the airport.
The program, known as ‘Know Me’ and developed over several years, is now beginning to be rolled out. The purpose? Collate data from every experience the customer has with the airline and translate that into meaningful service for that individual.
Let’s say that you are a Silver Executive Club member and are flying business class for the first time, then you may be welcomed by a crew member and they will explain the benefits of the cabin. Or if you are a coach class customer, and have had an experience of issues on previous flights, say a delay due to weather, the crew will be informed of that and will be able to go the extra mile, recognize the previous issue and thank the customer for their continued patronage. This feature also enables the crew to feedback useful information about the airline’s most loyal customers, enabling the airline to further personalize the service they receive on their next trip.
As part of the program a ‘delivery lab’ has also been set up to analyse the way the airline communicates with customers so that only the most relevant and interesting messages are sent to them. The airline is aiming to send 4,500 of these personal recognition messages a day by the end of 2012 with even greater scope for growth in the future. The personal recognition message is just a guide; it’s the customer service staff and cabin crew that bring it to life, enabling them to be more intuitive and proactive.
Some people may call this “better & personalized customer service” especially if you have experienced issues with the airline many times, while others may think it is creepy for an airline to keep track of their routes, experiences and, maybe, personal information.
Although the early results have been extremely positive, claims Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at British Airways, and their customers “love being recognized and treated as an individual”.
While airlines around the world have been trying to provide the best customer service for their passengers, simple perks like lower prices, rebate checks, discounts on the next flight or a plain, simple “thank you for being loyal to us, how can we make it better?” can go a long way when it comes to keeping customers loyal and happy.