New report uncovers need for better customer experience and technology innovation among airlines

New report uncovers need for better customer experience and technology innovation among airlines

Challenges identified show need for improvements to technology, which will in turn aid customer service

LeapShift has unveiled a new survey sponsored by travel tech company Meili, which reveals an urgent need for improvement in the ancillary efforts of airlines across the globe. 

The survey results, conducted among of 105 global airline respondents in February and March of this year, were presented as part of the latest “State of Airline Retailing”.

Among them, 0% expressed the belief that airlines were doing a “very good job” at retailing, and just 14% of participants stated that airlines were doing a “good job”. 

Over half of the respondents (62%), said the airline they worked for did not utilise an Offer and Order Management System and 64% said they are unable to sell partner ancillaries.

“The survey results clearly demonstrate the urgent need for airlines to prioritise enhancing the customer experience and elevating their ancillary efforts,” said Mike McGearty, CEO of Meili.

“While there has been some progress, there is still significant room for improvement in this critical space.”

It also revealed airlines are concentrating their efforts on leveraging the customer experience to drive revenues, with 47% of respondents indicating they are using their loyalty program to create personalised offers to customers.

McGearty believes “it is vital for airlines to recognise the added benefits that direct service provider relationships can bring to their customers”. 

He added: “Integrating loyalty programmes with car rental companies can further enhance the customer experience. 

“By harnessing cutting-edge technology available in the marketplace, airlines can successfully deliver the superior and frictionless experience that customers demand and deserve."

Some of the airline technical challenges identified by respondents to the survey include interaction between different systems, servicing changes and refunds and dynamic bundling of products and services.

Ann Cederhall, the author of the wider report and travel technology strategist and educator of LeapShift said: “The opportunity that airlines have to create amazing customer experiences and lifelong loyal customers is so unbelievably huge that I believe we're on the cusp of a massive airline industry transformation that will put the customer front and centre once again.”