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How can an app show that you care about your customers?
This may sound like a tough question. But for Air New Zealand and its customers, it’s easy to answer.
Airlines, like other travel companies, aren’t just moving people from place to place. They’ve actually got their customers’ lives in their hand. Their customers need information about things such as flight delays and seat availability. But customers also need to know that airlines and travel companies think about them as more than credit cards on two legs. We want airlines to care—and to show that they care.
Air New Zealand uses mobile apps to customize, personalize, and enhance the customer journey from the moment a customer starts browsing flights. Combined, these apps provide more than raw information. They provide comfort and peace of mind. They shepherd a high-touch customer experience that builds loyalty and long-term value.
Air New Zealand relies on two apps: Grabaseat, for the absolute lowest-priced tickets, and its flagship Air New Zealand app. Here’s how the airline combines them to dramatically improve the customer experience.
You might wonder how driving sales improves the customer experience. Well, Grabaseat makes last-minute sales available in a flash-sales format. That allows people to travel places they might not get to otherwise, or to visit far-flung family more often. On Grabaseat, most domestic flights are less than $100 one-way. The app shows how many seats are left at a given price, so flyers can make fully-informed decisions.
Grabaseat also lets customers set personalized alerts. If you’re interested in flying from Christchurch to Wellington, say, the app will let you know the moment the price changes. Customers can receive other opt-in alerts based on their browsing behavior.
Air New Zealand sends customers an easy-to-read series of onboarding messages. No one receives messages unexpectedly, before being reminded why they signed up for the app or how to use it. Like the rest of the app, the onboarding messages are simple and direct. They tell users exactly what they need to know, without condescension or assumptions about a customer’s tech abilities. The user interface is elegant and non-intrusive.
Once a customer has shown interest in a particular destination, Air New Zealand makes it easier to have fun there. The airline’s flagship app, Air New Zealand, puts together a personalized message stream that includes dynamic content, such as weather forecasts in the destination city. The app will help make hotel reservations, and even keep travelers up-to-date on events in their destination city.
It’s not just that Air New Zealand wants to take you somewhere. They want you to enjoy yourself once you arrive.
On the Fly Updates
Flight notifications can seem pedestrian. But to someone who’s rushing to make a flight, finding out about a gate change a few minutes early can be a huge deal.
Air New Zealand is being proactive in informing customers. They’re helping ensure that passengers will have all the information they need, without having to go digging for it.
A Cup of Joe, When You Need It
Air New Zealand’s app also has a feature you might not expect from an airline. Sign into one of the airline’s lounges, and the app will ask you if you’d like to order a cup of coffee.
You would expect to order coffee from a Starbucks app. The beauty of ordering coffee through the Air New Zealand app is not just that it works wonderfully, but that it’s intuitive. One doesn’t expect an airline to pay such attention to customers’ needs. The result is an emotional response that’s gold to marketers.
The options for customizing a coffee go well beyond cream or sugar. Order a latte, and the app will show you a diagram to make sure your order is correct. The app estimates your wait time, then sends an alert you when your beverage is ready.
And with that, travel just became fun again.