Data, Customization and the Airline UX

By Hélène Dubos | Trends & Innovation

Aug 08

Can you access the data that’s necessary for a customized passenger experience?

“I spend $3 buying a book from Amazon, and they quickly recommend other purchases to me. But I spend $15,000 a year with an airline and they don’t even know what I might like for lunch, or where I’d like to go on holiday.”

Airlines with legacy technology and data silos are feeling the pressure from customers. Dozens of online retailers like Amazon and Netflix are raising customer expectations when it comes to personalized, customized offers … but somehow established airlines are finding it hard to catch up.

If you think your airline is missing a trick because it can’t access the data that is scattered around the business, or is stuck with partners, read on …

Is your IT connecting you to the future, or chaining you to the past?

Sabre and Forbes collaborated in the production of a white paper titled: Enabling Operations To Create The Best Customer Experience.

A survey of 100 airline executives revealed that:

  • 61% say customer experience is the primary brand promise.
  • 72% say operations has a significant impact on the customer experience.
  • 52% say lack of technology stops them improving the customer experience.
  • 41% say building customer loyalty is a top priority.

But for many airlines, making significant breakthroughs in personalization seems impossible. “Some of our legacy software goes back over 30 years to TPF (Transaction Processing Facility) software that was installed in the early 80s, before I was even born,” said one airline executive we spoke to recently. “Enabling disruptive services and apps seems like an impossible dream right now.”

“Airlines have always been very good at collecting data, but they haven’t always been good at using it,” said Scott Wilson, vice president of ecommerce and merchandising for United Airlines. “Now that the costs of storing and processing data have dropped — even as airlines collect more and more of it — it’s becoming easier for a company to act on it.”
Sabre white paper: The Evolution Of Customer data.

PSS data and ‘event trigger’ personalization.

Even airlines who are gathering more data don’t always leverage the data to maximum effect. “It’s another result of silos, or the silo mindset,” says Jean-Paul Camous, VP R&D at Conztanz. “For companies where their culture and structure assume that data has a closely-defined and ringfenced purpose, there is a wealth of exciting applications and customization services waiting to be unlocked by sharing data.”

Camous continues: “Harnessing the latent power of data around the organization can even enable companies to quickly go from being behind their competitors to becoming a pioneer. For example, we’re working with airlines on ‘event triggered’ personalization, where the network instantly responds to a customer action with an appropriate reaction.

Act like Amazon … and increase revenue by 22%?

Imagine your airline was acquired by Amazon, or any other of the new breed of retailers or financial services companies. What’s the first thing they’d do? Chances are they’d completely disrupt the IT infrastructure to open up ancillary revenue via customization.

But there’s no need to be revolutionary. Conztanz have an evolutionary solution to the question of gathering legacy and siloed data … and turning it into a goldmine of customer information. It’s called the ConztanzONE data hub for airlines.

An airline could expect a 22 percent increase in incremental ancillary revenue by personalizing ancillary offers within the proper context for the customer. For a mid-size carrier, the five-year revenue uplift could total US$163 million. This is obviously significant, and an opportunity that airline leaders are not taking lightly.
Sabre white paper: The Evolution Of Customer data.

ConztanzONE data hub gathers data from around the enterprise.

Customer data from multiple sources enables airlines to create offers and service levels that will win loyalty and increase revenue. An integrated data strategy will also enable powerful new apps to be developed, and data to be shared with partners and channel vendors.

ConztanzONE is a data hub that helps airlines to achieve that commoditization of data. Even data held on legacy systems, or on multiple silos created by years of mergers & acquisitions or outsourcing, can be gathered into a cohesive whole with the flexible ConztanzONE data hub.

In short, ConztanzONE unlocks the potential of silod data.

To find out more about linking your current data with tomorrow’s customization programs, resellers, and smartphone inspired travelers, please leave your email address below.

Find out about the ConztanzONE platform

How to get the Sabre white paper

Download the Sabre white paper: The Evolution Of Customer Data.