Thinking of building your own passenger communications platform? Here’s what you need to consider

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Thinking of building your own passenger communications platform? Here’s what you need to consider

Building, personalising and sending millions of notifications each year to keep your passengers informed throughout their journey is a complex and resource-heavy task.

Unless, of course, you have access to a sophisticated, automated passenger communications platform.

Over the last 19 years, we’ve seen several airlines attempt to build their own automated messaging platform with varying degrees of success.

You’re probably thinking it sounds relatively straightforward? Wrong. A truly automated, responsive, personalised, real-time and user-friendly notifications system is incredibly difficult to build.

Our brand new eGuide – 10 things to consider when building your own passenger communications platform – provides a valuable account of the most important factors and challenges any airline must consider and overcome before opting to go it alone and build its own messaging infrastructure.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the points covered in the eGuide:

Personalisation is key

With 63% of customers expecting personalisation as standard, it’s no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must. Your system will need to integrate with PNRs to pull relevant data and process relevant notifications. This will allow you to:

Offer passengers bespoke ancillary services and products. The world’s leading airlines generate up to 47% of revenue through ancillaries so whether it’s tours and activities, visas or priority seat selection, you need to make your customers aware of what you’re offering at the optimum point in their journey.

In the event of flight disruption, you’ll be able to present suitable re-accommodation options to passengers based on their personal details. You can even offer special incentives and rewards to disrupted passengers, helping to protect your reputation and minimising the risk of negative social media posts. Bad Facebook reviews alone have the potential to cost an airline over $5 million in lost revenue each year.

Do you have the infrastructure and resources to build your own system?

From email servers and SMS gateways with sufficient capacity to send millions of notifications to tech that will allow you to process, sort and filter thousands of PNRs instantly, you’ll need robust, reliable and future-proof systems upon which to base your platform.

TUI UK was previously limited to sending just 35,000 passenger notifications a year before it invested in our automated communications platform to significant increase capacity and it’s now sending over 3.5 million.

That’s before you consider in-house designers to create and update templates, a system to translate messages into any language in the world and software developers to build your platform and develop functionality such as self-serve.

How to reach as many passengers as possible

With approximately 50% of all bookings being made indirectly, contacting every single passenger can be impossible. But to minimise the manual handling you’re faced with, your automated platform must be able to reach the maximum possible number of customers – particularly during disruption.

The key is to invest in a multi-channel strategy that encompasses not only email and SMS, but the latest social messaging platforms as well as in-app notifications.

89% of customers remain loyal to brands that take a truly multi-channel approach to communication, so it’s well worth it.  

That’s just a flavour of the multitude of challenges any business faces when developing its own messaging capabilities. So, if you’re still considering building an in-house passenger notification system, read our eGuide now to see the full list of things to bear in mind along your journey.

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