Airlines can thrive in a tough market by Engaging with their Customers
The Airline industry is still reeling from the turbulence of 2008 caused by the global recession. Commercial and freight carriers have seen profits suffer because of a rise in fuel costs coupled with a fall in passenger numbers, particularly the numbers of lucrative business travellers.
Airlines are being forced to compete in a smaller market for the first time in 17 years with passenger numbers falling 8% in the wake of the 2008 crisis. Recent hikes in the price of oil have caused a jump in fuel prices for airlines, which despite hedging has forced airlines to raise ticket prices. With the success of low cost carriers such as Ryanair, there has been too much focus on differentiating on price to the detriment of the customer experience.
Gaining increased Insight about customers would allow for a more tailored customer experience with more potential for upselling and gearing communication towards loyalty. As Airlines begin to engage more with their customers, they will begin to identify the areas where they can improve and with many companies in the market on low customer satisfaction scores, small changes and improvements will have an effect on loyalty.