Picture this: You’re a frequent flyer, going from city to city every week, and spending hours in airports. You have your routine down to the letter and any substantial hitch has a domino effect on your schedule – not to mention work/life balance.
You roll with inevitable delays and gate changes better than most, but you have to be in-the-know. You don’t demand flawlessness, but you do expect communication at a rate that keeps up with the countless voice messages from your colleagues, emails from your boss, texts from your spouse, in-app bill-pay alerts, etc., that are hopefully punctuated by a few moments to catch your breath.
So, you opt-in to SMS/text alerts from your airline. When you land, your phone dings with a notification that your connecting flight is delayed due to plane maintenance. “Ok. Is there a gate change?” you naturally reply, knowing that it takes 20 minutes to trek from point A to point B.
The response: Radio silence or, perhaps worse, a plain old “Thank you for flying with us.” (Why? Because that alert was sent by a machine and there’s nobody manning it on the other end.)
There’s an estimated 30-minute hold-time when you click-to-call, so you ask a rep at a nearby kiosk who, unfortunately, hasn’t yet gotten the memo that there’s a delay in the first place, much less its implications. Meanwhile, dozens of other confused passengers are duplicating efforts – spending far more of the airline’s time and money – when a simple “There is no gate change at this time,” SMS response could have taken care of it.
Pew Research tells us that 9 in 10 Americans own a mobile device and roughly 65% of them own a smartphone, proving that this scenario is a very real one – and this customer service challenge, a pleasantly solvable one. Read More >