As freezing fog causes further flight delays in the UK over the past few days, failure to keep customers updated when journeys are facing disruption is one of the biggest complaints against airlines after lost baggage, according to a report from Aviation research consultancy, SKYTRAX. If a flight gets cancelled, delayed or rescheduled, the airline is liable to pay compensation, costing the industry millions of pounds.
Flight disruption impacts approximately 50,000 to 60,000 passengers which has a domino effect on associated travel plans. Passengers who experience delays are further frustrated by being made to wait up to 30 or 40 minutes on automated voice systems when contacting their travel providers.
Making Passengers Wait Is no Longer an Option
In the “always on” and “always connected” customer environment, consumers expect to be updated in real time if their flights are going to be delayed or cancelled. To respond to growing customer demands, to speed up response times and fast track complaints, airlines and online travel agencies (OTAs) are turning to digital solutions to accelerate the complaint resolution process and fast track communication with passengers.
Intelligent communication management tool iCAN™, has cut dispute processing times by 60 per cent. It assesses the type, impact and duration of flight disruption and speeds up the calculation process of compensation due. Developed by Intelenet® Global Services who are market leaders in intelligent communication for the travel industry, iCAN™ provides automated classification and processing of customer claims.It also automatically sends emails to notify claimants, which processes around 30 per cent of the daily incoming customer queries.
Bhupender Singh, CEO of global Business Process Outsourcing company, Intelenet® Global Services comments:
“The consumer landscape in the travel industry is changing fast. In addition to disruptive pricing, customer service is becoming a major battle ground for companies. Passengers are demanding faster communication and dispute resolution when it comes to flight cancellations and delays. The more progressive firms in the travel industry are putting in place best practice communication systems which can fast track the claims calculations process and keep customers updated. Not only does this avoid the proliferation of negative sentiment on social media, but it keeps the customer engaged.
By using next generation technology which can streamline the process by 60 per cent, travel providers are able to manage a higher volume of complaints more efficiently, empowering companies to continue to survive and grow in competitive market conditions. ”
“What travel providers do once delays and cancellations occur is the true differentiator between competitors. Airlines and OTAs must cater to customer expectations in their hour of need. By harnessing the power of technology and having trained staff on hand, travel providers will be able to navigate through busy periods all year round, leaving customers feeling valued and cared for, which will boost positive sentiment as well as streamline costs. ”