Airlines can differentiate on service, says Sabre

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 22, 2004

New customer service features designed to build customer loyalty have recently been added to Sabre Airline Solutions' product and service offerings for airlines. The company says that airlines can differentiate themselves from the competition by using its Customer Insight and Customer Data Delivery offerings to boost customer service, and thereby increase loyalty.

Having recently launched its new CRM services, Sabre Airline Solutions is targeting airlines that want a complete, customer-centric view of their customers through every touch-point including web sites and kiosks.

For example, ATA Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas, Frontier Airlines, Aeroflot, and Jet Airways have all implemented customer service features from Sabre's passenger management suite, SabreSonic. "One of the key reasons we chose the SabreSonic solution over other competitors was for the ability it will give us to distinguish ourselves through service," said Sean Menke, Frontier's senior vice president of marketing.

Smarter consumers
As consumers have become smarter about shopping around for their travel needs, airline travel has become more of a commodity. But, according to Sabre, a unique customer care and service programme is something that can distinguish an airline. Supporting this argument, the company quotes a study published by McKinsey, which noted that effective implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) programme can increase an airline's revenues by as much as 2.4% per year, representing a bottom-line annual impact of US$100 million to US$250 million for a large carrier.

The Customer Insight system stores complete information about customers including their destination, service, seat preferences and historical customer experience details. This information is made available at all customer service points, allowing airline staff to better understand and serve each customer.

Call centre benefit
"With Customer Insight, all of our call centre personnel now have access to the Aerolineas PLUS frequent flyer information," said Claudia Toldeo, call centre manager for Aerolineas Argentinas. "They have all the information needed to make a reservation, provide account balances, exchange points for tickets, and issue tickets without having to transfer the customer to another area or agent."

According to Sabre, airlines' customer information has historically been fragmented across various departments and systems, making a complete view of a customer difficult to achieve. In addition, many systems are transaction-centric, meaning that they are optimised for each transaction and revolve around the passenger's individual trips, making a true CRM approach difficult.

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