SOCIAL MEDIA CASE STUDY: BRITISH AIRWAYS
British Airways has recently taken a big step forward in its business strategy by integrating ‘Know Me’: a new recognition system that has been incorporated into the organization’s internal operations.
The program is designed to collect as much information as possible about customers’ experiences with the airline, thus acting along the same principles of a social media platform.
The system gathers all sorts of information related to the travel experiences of BA customers, from problems a customer may have had with BA in the past to whether a customer is flying with the airline for the very first time.
After absorbing all this data, Know Me acts like a centralized system by feeding the information to various parts of the airline team, through mobile devices such as iPads. The information is thus able to reach different groups of the airline like the check-in staff, the cabin crew and the customer service agents, among others.
By transferring all this information to the airline team, staff becomes able to know individual customers’ experiences instantly and then provide customer service to each individual accordingly. Thus, Know Me helps create a tailored customer service molded differently around each specific customer.
For instance, if the staff sees that a customer experienced a particular problem in the past, it will be able to pay extra attention to that customer for such an incident not to be repeated.
Or, if the staff sees that a member is going to fly on the airline for the very first time, it can go the extra mile to give a warm welcome and express its hope that the customer will enjoy the airline’s services, before the customer has even boarded the aircraft.
By tailoring customer service towards each customer, the airline can hence show its customers that it is really listening to them and improving their experiences, and by doing so hopes to achieve a better performance in its overall customer service.
The system works both ways as well: by sending information to staff, but also by allowing staff to send new information to the program as well, thus enlarging the volume of data on the airline’s customers and helping to create an ever-increasing personalized service.
This is not all however. The system will incorporate a face-recognition feature as well. The latter will allow staff members to retrieve customer pictures via tools like Google Images in order to help them recognize their customers as they see them, whether in the airport or aircraft, and take the initiative to approach them.
Jo Boswell, British Airways’ head of customer analysis, explains that ‘we’re essentially trying to recreate the feeling of recognition you get in a favorite restaurant when you’re welcomed there, but in our case it will be delivered by thousands of staff to millions of customers. And the early results have been extremely positive, our customers love being recognized and treated as an individual and our customer service staff and cabin crew feel empowered to deliver a really bespoke service. This is just the start though – the system has a myriad of possibilities for the future’.
This new recognition system, combined with mobile technology, has allowed the airline to achieve both increased insight into their customers, and to coordinate this valuable information efficiently within its internal organization – thus creating more competitive advantage for itself within the industry.
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