The Skyroads Program Recommendation … Case Study
Pages: 10 (3187 words) | Style: n/a | Sources: 6
Frequent flyer programs are important for several reasons. One of which is they keep customer flying. With a constant flow of riders, airlines stay in business and generate profits. Many airlines offer some form of frequent flyer program. While some programs seem better than others, there are several things that can be done to improve an existing frequent flyer program without putting a big dent on budget. Sky Airlines has a transactional Frequent Flyer Program named Skyroads. While the program has satisfied customers in the past, recently it is in need of an update and overhaul.
Feedback from existing members reveal a need for personalized service, greater product flexibility, relevant offers and propositions, heightened transparency, and true differentiation and fairness across the programs three levels (Blue/Silver/Gold). Most of these changes do not require adding additional features but more so changing old features and tailoring them to the needs of the customer. For example, heightened transparency is something that requires of a change in how Skyroads provides information for customers. Customers want to see what they are getting and what number of points will earn them what reward in a simple and easy to understand fashion.
While something like offers and propositions can be a tough thing to tackle considering the budget for the program, it may be as easy as replacing current offers with offers more appealing to existing customers. This essay is meant to show how Sky Airlines can help customers feel satisfied in participating in a program like Skyroads. Analytical studies/techniques will be examined in order to validate strategies and articulate how these changes will increase the airline's revenue. Thanks to recent innovations in technology, ways to increase engagement with the member base will be demonstrated as well as discussing any possible obstacles that may present themselves when attempting to revamp Skyroads.
Because of traveler's websites offering flights at a discounted rate, frequent flyer programs cannot entice customers by simply offering cheaper flights. Sky Airlines needs to offer personalized surface which is part of the first strategy, enhancing customer experience. While customers may feel tempted to take a cheaper flight, they may be willing to pay more if a flight offers additional services or excellent customer service. Sometimes a warm gesture by a steward or stewardess can make a huge difference and make a customer pay more for a flight or join a program like Skyroads than pay for a cheaper flight online.
Other businesses have adopted the strategy of enhancing a customer's experience via customization of client experiences. For example, Nordstrom has a well-known Fashion Rewards program that offers concierge service, complimentary alterations, and a personal shopper that notifies members of upcoming sales and the latest fashion trends. Airlines like Sky Airlines can also adopt this kind of strategy. The easiest and perhaps budget-friendly step is to help customer avoid lines at the airport. The next is regular update on flight status via text message or email.
These steps are not only cost-effective, but can easily be implemented now that a growing IT sector will be able to provide additional technical support for the airlines should they need it. Southwest Airlines has already implemented the use of real-time text messaging for flights that includes baggage handling and departure information. Customers love knowing what is happening in real-time and that is an excellent way to enhance customer experience. Going back to avoiding lines at the airport, making the experience of going to the airport and getting on the flight faster and easier, will make many customers remain loyal to an airline since this part of flying is often the most frustrating part for customers.
The next strategy is utilization of technology to improve customer service. Offers and promotions can be sent through social media. Twitter for example, is a great way to release latest deals for flights and can entice customers to engage with the airline. Virgin Atlantic is one airline that offers a mobile app allowing customers to checking into their flights via their smartphones. Many airlines, close to 80% are working towards personalization of communication through social media and mobile. This is because smartphones use has expanded to reach across all current generations with smartphones having the ability to deposit checks, carry libraries of books, and provide hours of entertainment for users. Although it may seem a bit costly to implement a mobile app into Sky Airlines, this may help the airline in more than one way.
In fact, the mobile should be the main way to implement most of the changes customers need as shown in their feedback responses. Mobile apps can do several things. They can offer personalized service, access to social media, real-time flight information, faster check in, and they can help Sky Airlines gather information from customers on what they are happy with in the program and the airline and what they are not happy with. This leads up to ways to validate strategies. Sky Airlines needs to know what it is doing right and right so funds can be diverted from things that do not work to things that do.
Mobile apps can have features add it that help enhance customer experience. They can also have features that help the airline assess customer satisfaction. Surveys can be administered that ask questions to customers about various areas of service in the program. From experience at check-in, to experience with stewards and stewardesses, surveys offer a lot of information and do not have to take up much of the customer's time. Customers need to feel as though any minor problems can be easily remedied so they will stay loyal to an airline. It is these minor problems that cause customers to leave and join other airlines as discussed in a recent study.
minor incidents are more strongly (negatively) related to future market share than are major incidents. Moreover, our findings indicate that only minor incidents are significantly linked to customer satisfaction. We argue that these findings occur for two reasons: First, most customers believe major incidents to be low probability events that are less salient when compared to more probable failures. Second, consumers impacted by major incidents most likely defect and are therefore not captured in future customer satisfaction surveys (Keiningham, Morgeson, Aksoy, & Williams, 2014, p. 415).
Satisfaction surveys are a crucial element in maintaining customer satisfaction and assessing the quality of service for any airline.
In order to validate the strategies, and assess customer satisfaction, data can be reviewed using the SDI or Service Disquality Index to measure if the airline has offered high standards for quality service. SDI scores have been used for years to measure service quality and can be used as a way to evaluate how well the strategy works for customers. "Due to recent actions mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the chase for ancillary revenues and airlines perhaps finally practicing some constraint, major U.S. airlines are finally meeting minimum standards for service quality as reflected in recent SDI scores" (Waguespack & Rhoades, 2014, p. 33). While survey data collected from customers can provide feedback and point the airlines in the right direction on what works, the Service Disquality Index can also be an effective way of providing much needed validation for these strategies.
Skyroads needs a new way to help customers feel more at home and satisfied with Sky Airlines services. Three novel ideas will be presented in order to show ways that customers can see an increase in transparency from the company, witness greater product flexibility, and see true fairness and differentiation across all levels of the program from Blue to Silver to gold. The first novel idea is increase in transparency.
Heightened transparency can increase customer loyalty by building trust. This is because when customers experience a decrease in uncertainty, they feel better and more likely to accept a price or service when they understand how much it actually costs and what they will get from it. A 2015 article on transparency explained transparency reduced uncertainty in customers and therefore created a more positive experience for customers in relation to program participation or purchases.
... the positive effect of performance transparency is influenced by customers' perceptions of a firm's ability to deliver on its service promise. An important managerial implication of the current research is that performance transparency benefits customers by lowering uncertainty, and hence service firms should proactively consider it as a critical measure that helps differentiate their services from competitive offerings, even when customer perceptions of a service firm's ability are low (Liu, Eisingerich, Auh, Merlo, & Chun, 2015, p. 451).
The first novel idea that involves heightened transparency is making clear the level of services offered in the varying levels (Blue/Silver/Gold). If customers take these many flights or spend this much, or pay this much, they will get x number of services offered. For example, Gold members in the airline can get free concierge service and speedy check in so they can go through security… [END OF PREVIEW]
Cite This Paper:
APA FormatThe Skyroads Program Recommendation. (2016, May 26). Retrieved March 29, 2017, from http://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/skyroads-program-recommendation/6214491
MLA Format"The Skyroads Program Recommendation." 26 May 2016. Web. 29 March 2017. <http://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/skyroads-program-recommendation/6214491>.
Chicago Format"The Skyroads Program Recommendation." Essaytown.com. May 26, 2016. Accessed March 29, 2017.