Sabre Airline Solutions has released a whitepaper highlighting the business challenges faced by airlines in the area of customer experience. Brand differentiation and personalized sales and service are becoming increasingly strategic areas for leading airlines due to their market share and profit potential. In the whitepaper, Sabre discusses the unique complexities in the industry, analyzes new findings about revenue potential, and discusses ideal solutions for these problems in the market place.

During the last 100 years of commercial aviation, the industry has changed significantly. Unfortunately, that change has resulted in progressive disconnect between airlines and their customers. The airline customer experience has become clique for lacking in knowledge and understanding of what customers need and are willing to pay for. Despite investments, strategic planning and good intentions, the airline industry consistently struggles to meet customers’ expectations of the sales and service experience. Competitive pressures, evolving business models and volatile market conditions have dictated when and where a carrier must make trade-off decisions to maintain both operational execution and profitability. As such, innovative customer experience initiatives often fall down the priority list.

The whitepaper explores the deterioration of the customer experience, the disconnect between airlines and their customers and the real opportunity that exists with the reversal of that trend. To differentiate, gain market share, optimize profitability and create long-term loyalty, a carrier must properly invest in and execute its unique customer-experience strategy.

Investment in organizational readiness through talent and technology has proven economically lucrative in many industries, and the airline industry will be no different. Because many other service-providing industries have made the first investments in the customer experience, customers are now more informed about what’s possible and, therefore, have only recently come to expect more from their airline experience.

Executing a unique, customer-centric strategy is an impossible task if a customer’s experiences, preferences and behaviors are not known at an individual level by the airline. Without the requisite data, and a subsequent 360-degree view of the customer, a personalized travel experience is merely an automation of internal guesswork. Not only do a carrier’s disparate internal data silos contain a historic view of customer activity, but new customer data is flowing in all the time. Without data-driven personalization, customers are left feeling like the airline doesn’t know, or care to know, who they are and what they prefer. Carriers today are unable to access data, aggregate it, make insights and action those insights, all within the context of the journey. It is very costly, and some say logistically impossible to sync these data systems into a single view of the truth that operates in real time.

This paper explores the complexities and challenges of the personalization challenge and offers possible solutions. Though the silver bullet remains elusive, there is one thing industry leaders can agree on: the carriers that can harness and action their customer data will truly understand their customers and consistently outperform their competitors in a virtuous cycle of personalization, profit-margin growth and long-term customer loyalty.

Ready to learn more? Download the full whitepaper!