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Connecting the Customer on Every Channel


We previously wrote about how United Airlines put an iPhone 6 Plus in the hands of every flight attendant, making personal, seamless attention possible for flyers. At the time, the in-flight experience was enhanced by flight attendants having your details at their fingertips – loyalty status, name, itinerary. Tied together those bits of information allowed for faster, more personal service, like alerts about missed connections or potential upgrades.

Well now the airline is doubling down on connectivity by giving the smartphones to customer service reps on the ground. United is banking on the fact that hyperconnected agents in terminals can outpace the commonplace kiosks in terminal lobbies. When customers need to check in, make last-minute flight changes, or deal with more complex issues than a kiosk could address, mobile customer service reps will be at the ready.

For travelers, this means reservations, personal information, and options for flight experiences are accessible before they even board the jet and in ways that the airline’s app can’t automate either. But because United’s channels are increasing, it’s another example of why it’s more imperative than ever to use preference management to ensure seamless communications. Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, channel preference and frequency of communication, make it possible for to meet customers’ expectations of receiving omnichannel recognition.

Say you’re about to check in in for a multi-leg flight that’s delayed due to weather, and because of quickly changing conditions on the ground, your app alerts you to the anticipated time change as you arrive at the airport. Now imagine that the airline has figured out another way to re-route you to your final destination on a faster connection that avoids a snowy layover. If your communication preferences allow it, the app could prompt you to begin the process for a potential reschedule, handing you off to the customer service rep in the terminal for completion.

While enterprises continue to add touchpoints and technology to their communications infrastructure, customers will only continue to win if the channels are connected to each other. Is your customer journey primed to offer a fully connected experience, or is it just a bunch of missed connections? 




About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.



Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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