The airlines that will stand out during the upcoming busy spring and summer travel season are those that are ready to support today’s most frequent travelers.
According to a survey by Teleperformance Business Insights Lab, Millennials and Gen Zers are increasingly opting for a variety of digital channels such as instant messaging, video and text to negotiate air travel.
The changing face of business
Calling, email and web forms continue to be the customer service channels used most by airline travelers.
Notably however, nearly 70% of travelers who have contacted airline customer service before and after the pandemic say their interactions with airlines have changed since the ‘new normal’.
Almost a quarter of travelers (24%) now say they’re branching out and trying new channels to contact the airlines, and a quarter (26%) report using more self-help options to get the support.
These findings derive from the Teleperformance Business Insights Lab Survey, in which 87,000 consumer interviews were conducted across 20 sectors and 16 countries.
Now in its ninth year, the survey queried consumers across topics ranging from customer service channel preferences and metrics, including more than 4,800 airline customers.
Specifically, the online survey was conducted on 4,803 airline customers across 16 countries between August and September 2022.
Survey participants had booked their flights and completed travel within the 12-month period preceding the survey date.
For reliability, the survey was conducted in accordance with ICC/ESOMAR guidelines, with a sample population representative of general population for age and gender.
The Business Insights Lab looked into travelers’ use of airline support channels and their preferences.
It aimed to help airlines understand how travelers want to be served and just what customer channels airlines should consider adding to their contact options.
Digital support channels are getting busier
One of the strong findings which came through from the survey was the increasing use of mobile apps and instant messaging facilities to contact airlines for customer support
Contacting airlines for help through an airline’s mobile app rose 29% since 2019. Instant messaging with airlines’ customer service was up 71% since before the pandemic, and texting airlines grew 105%.
Travelers told Teleperformance they are also using other digital ways to seek help from airlines including automated chat and video.
These trends are more pronounced across younger demographics. You can read additional findings from the survey here.
“One of the most significant changes in the travel industry since the pandemic is the growing demand for flexibility among travelers,” said Rahul Jolly, President of Global Travel and Hospitality, Teleperformance.
“This includes a demand for more diverse contact options and travelers’ rising preference for digital channels that provide flexibility in how they receive help and support.”
“Building out and enhancing support capabilities across emerging digital channels can help airlines differentiate themselves, provide positive experiences and help customer retention.”
About Teleperformance GroupTeleperformance isa global leader in digital business services, serves as a strategic partner to the world’s largest companies in many industries.
It offers a One Office support services model including end-to-end digital solutions, which guarantee successful customer interaction and optimized business processes, anchored in a unique, comprehensive high touch, high tech approach.