Create Profitable Revenue While Earning True Loyalty

Sabre Airline Solutions has released a new whitepaper highlighting the business challenges faced by airlines in the areas of customer data, personalization, and retailing. Brand differentiation and customer-centric 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 loyalty growth, and discusses possible solutions to these problems.

Carriers are in a highly transformative period in which they are migrating rapidly to airline retailing, which involves moving from a more operationally driven model to one of putting customer centricity in its rightful place as the key to sales and service success. To more fully realize the advantages of a customer-centric retailing approach (improved customer experience, increased product sales and greatly improved product margins), market leaders are emerging with a retailing maturity model and early proof points that a migration to a customer-centric retailing approach opens a wealth of opportunities.

The idea behind the customer-centric retailing platform is to help carriers successfully manage the complex data sets and integration of information, along with the numerous operational hurdles, such that airlines can quite properly focus on the customer, not on the technology platform. The optimal technology needs have been discussed throughout this piece, along with the business case for the value of the platform being greater than the sum of the parts. However, there is more to the story than simply the innovations in technology. Airlines must be prepared to define their strategy, empower their teams, evolve their culture and adopt best practices for Customer-Centric Retailing enable them to lead the market.

Customer Centric Retailing Maturity Model_WP3_v4_27SEP15 (2)

A maturity model has been adopted that defines most of the core steps that an organization should achieve before they are able to move to the next echelon of retailing maturity. Many of the foundational steps to Customer-Centric Retailing are already within the current or future investment plans for many airlines. The new frontier, however, includes the areas of data, analytics and personalization. These are not only new technologies for some airlines, but new functional areas altogether. New roles under the CIO and CMO are forming in the areas of data science, omni-channel, mobile retailing, database analytics, consumer behavior and many others.

Customer data is the foundation but not the true value. Rather, customer data must be gleaned to produce true customer insights at the next level and then finally these customer insights are used to enhance the customer experience from not just a day-of-travel perspective but potentially over the life of the journey. The investment in customer data and personalization is a vital necessity in the process of moving forward in airline retailing. It sets up a mindset shift from revenue per seat to revenue per customer and is the foundational element upon which airlines will build their retailing business. Once the foundation is in place, airlines who have adopted Customer-Centric Retailing will begin to pull away from their competitors, taking with them more profitable, loyal customers with no interest in turning back.

To learn more about Customer-Centric Airline Retailing, download the whitepaper!