Low-Cost Carriers vs. Full Service Carriers
When apps are the primary interface, how do customers seek support? How prominent are traditional call centers, chats, social networks? videc’s App in the Sky reviews Android apps of 22 low-cost carriers (LCCs) and 48 full-service carriers (FSCs) globally to see how many offered the different types of customer support to their users in 3Q19.
CALL CENTRE/ TELEPHONE SUPPORT
Up to 59% of the LCC apps analyzed listed call center support as against 75% of FSCs. However, both these numbers are relatively shallow considering most users would resort to calling the airlines first in case of problems, especially when they are in transit.
E-MAIL/ ONLINE FORM SUPPORT
Form-based support stood at 36% for LCC apps and 27% for traditional carriers in 3Q19. Form-based support is often time-consuming and is a slower resolution mode. A fundamental reason behind airlines offering this could be to document all grievances and feedback received from users.
SUPPORT VIA SOCIAL NETWORKING PLATFORMS
An astonishing 5% of LCCs studied in 3Q19 offered customer support through the social media platforms built into their apps. For FSCs, customer support via social networks rested at 10% during the same period.
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 messaging platforms within their apps. Part of the reason could be integration issues itself, ultimately leading to a heavier app, apart from privacy issues. While 5% of LCCs offered an in-app chat tool in 3Q19, this was at 6 % for FSCs.
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. Few airline apps – 5% LCCs and just 4% FSCs – have such integrations in 3Q19. Expect more airlines to be onboarded as a business profile on these platforms, in-turn having a seamless multi-platform chat integration.