AIRLINE APPS THAT OFFER CALL CENTRE SUPPORT
Customer support features on airline Android apps in 2Q19 are dismal with a small percentage of airlines investing in it. It is possible that users are falling back on the traditional toll-free number to ask for assistance via their mobiles instead of using the app, or the app features available are not seamless thereby diverting users to the call center. This is because for airlines, offering customer support via mobile apps means integrating with not just their traditional call centers, but also popular mobile communication formats such as chat-based, social networks, etc. videc’s App in the Sky reviews the customer support status available on 65 airlines’ Android apps.
CALL CENTRE/ TELEPHONE SUPPORT
Up to 63% of the total of 65 airlines that were studied had an in-built tool for reaching call center support on their app, which is low considering most users would resort to this feature first in case of problems, especially if when they are in transit.
E-MAIL/ ONLINE FORM SUPPORT
We see a huge gap between telephone and form-based support in airline Android apps and for good reason. Still, 33% is a good number considering it is time-consuming and a slower resolution mode. A fundamental reason behind it could be to document all grievances and feedback.
SUPPORT VIA SOCIAL NETWORKING PLATFORMS
While most airline businesses today have presence on digital networking platforms, it is done less with the aim of supporting their customers and more to promote their offerings. As a result, only 23% of the airlines studied in 2Q19 have offer customer support through these platforms built into their apps. But in the world of super apps – where companies integrate possibly everything in a single app – having a social support access directly from the app may become a regular feature down the road.
IN-APP CHAT/ MESSAGING SUPPORT
Chatting has emerged as a major customer engagement tool on websites but this has not translated into an in-app feature. Airlines have been rather slow in integrating third-party messaging platforms within their apps. Part of the reason could be integration issues itself, ultimately leading to a heavier app, apart from privacy issues. Only 14% of the airline apps offer in-app messaging support.
THIRD-PARTY CHAT/ MESSAGING SUPPORT
These are relatively early days for messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat or Line to roll out business profiles that could communicate with individual users. As a result, very few airlines – 8% – have such integrations. But expect more airlines to be onboarded as a business profile on these platforms; ultimately, these communications take place on platforms customers are most comfortable with, and offer a broad range of back-end analytics for the airlines.