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24 September 2020 | Blog

Coronavirus: How to run an effective operation with cut budgets and teams

One of the biggest challenges that we’ve seen airlines facing over the last few months is how to continue to run an effective operation with reduced budgets and teams. 

15below has been all about passenger experience for two decades, and over recent years we’ve seen the aviation industry put more focus on it than ever. The result is that despite the operational rollercoaster they’re facing, the world’s top airlines have recognised that keeping passengers informed and empowered when things go wrong is absolutely critical to their short and long-term survival.

What you can’t afford to stop doing: Our advice for airlines

While we’ve developed our offering over time, introducing revenue-generating solutions and highly sophisticated automated processes designed to delight passengers, there is one fundamental solution you simply can't afford to get wrong at the moment, and that is disruption communications

Of course, you are rightly working hard to drive bookings and much-needed revenue. But you shouldn't lose focus on the need to protect your reputation and long-term loyalty as well. And the only way to do this is to make your passengers feel empowered. Leaving them in the dark, or putting too much responsibility on them to proactively sort things out for themselves is the worst thing you can do. And this is where the 15below customer community has taken advantage of the ease with which they can keep passengers happy by simply letting them know where they stand.  

Passengers will remember how you made them feel during this crisis - and the airlines that keep customers in the loop are the ones that are going to benefit from the greatest rise in bookings once people are confident to take to the skies again.

But reputational preservation and loyalty are not the only benefits. Proactively giving them just the right amount of information at the right time and via the best channel for them is key to keeping stressed passengers away from your contact centres and airport staff. The result is less panic, more time and significantly reduced costs for both your passengers and your business.

It’s not too late!

You may be thinking that you just need to get through this crisis, then look at how to make things better for next time. If that’s the case, it's worth contacting us now as we can get you started with the 15below platform within a matter of days.

Like our longest-standing customer, Ryanair, you need to get the basics covered perfectly and just make sure your passengers know what’s going on. The rest you can pick back up when things are running smoothly again.

Ryanair has used the 15below platform to process more than 66 million notifications this year so far. In March alone they sent 3.1 notifications, one million of which were its usual itineraries and receipts, but an additional 2.1 million communications were sent to inform passengers of updates and changes . Because we don’t charge per transaction, Ryanair has been able to scale their notifications to meet the scale of this crisis without the concern of a huge bill on the other side.

The author

Al Tredinnick has helped many of the world’s best-known airlines – including British Airways, SWISS, Lufthansa, Etihad and Cathay Pacific – adopt world-class passenger communication strategies. Specialising in customer experience best practice, Al helps airlines of all sizes achieve greater profits through best-in-class customer service.