How SkyTeam is aiming for the sky in Customer Experience

Consumer Experience research is high on the agenda of many research teams; this is also the case at SkyTeam, one of the ‘big three’ international airline alliances, which associates 19 airlines. SkyTeam’s mission is to create a seamless travel experience through operational excellence while maintaining a customer focus. To guarantee a consistent superior Customer Experience, they wanted to capture experiences from SkyPriority customers throughout all SkyPriority touchpoints. Over the last five years, SkyTeam has taken the long-haul approach when it comes to research by championing long-term collaboration and consumer inclusiveness.

“At SkyTeam, our position is to help member airlines offer customers a more seamless travel experience. With the SkyPriority Panel project, we can offer our members crucial real-time feedback; thus allowing them to improve the customer experience.” – Mauro Oretti, Vice President Sales & Marketing

SkyTeam’s first stop in its collaboration with InSites Consulting was the launch of the SkyPriority Panel app in 2014; and it has been running successfully since then. In 2018-‘19, SkyTeam was looking to expand its research efforts and widen its approach.

Earning their wings

The next stop in SkyPriority’s journey to become a customer-first organization was the launch of an online research community to go alongside its app.

The Jet Setters community, launched in 2018, solidified its connection with its passengers; it relied on quantitative alerts and also on rich qualitative feedback on how to improve customer experience and evolve their services. Just under a year after its start, over 1,500 passengers have registered to the Jet Setters community; thousands of comments are written on a diverse range of topics; the aim is to help improve the experience for customers across SkyTeam’s members. This feedback has helped provide nuance to the team in a way that wasn’t possible with other research, strengthening its grasp of passenger experience.

The MegaDo – the next mega step

SkyTeam wanted to get closer to their passengers by stepping away from the computer and meeting them in real life. In October 2018, this became a reality with the MegaDo, built around offering enthusiastic flyers a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the world of airlines; it gave them exclusive access to the ins & outs of major airlines and airports before boarding a chartered plane with other participants to fly to the next location. Over a seven-day programme, participants landed in and explored airports in Seattle, Prague, Mallorca and Barcelona.

For SkyTeam, this was the perfect opportunity to meet and pick the brains of some of its most loyal passengers. Therefore, in SkyTeam’s home of Amsterdam, together with InSites Consulting, SkyTeam created an exciting day of activities for the participants, by letting them take a peek at the future of SkyTeam and influence SkyTeam’s direction through interactive discussions. This exclusive group of customers participated in debates, brainstorm sessions and live surveys; all to help direct decisions on the alliance’s future. The day ended (as all days should) with a champagne reception; and with the opportunity to mingle with other loyal participants and with those managing SkyTeam.

From MegaDo to can-do

The goal of SkyTeam’s research has always been to provide a strong base for future innovations; as a result, SkyTeam is using several levels of input from 2018-2019 to help their members improve their service. This collection of research came together at a workshop held in South Korea in December 2018. This workshop brought together representatives of all 19 airlines; InSites Consulting presented the ideas from the different phases of research to them, including:

  • Trends from the SkyTeam Customer Experience tracker and SkyPriority Panel app
  • Qualitative feedback + improvements from Jet Setters community
  • Ideas suggested for the future of service by MegaDo participants

All this input was then assessed and a list of new concepts was developed and tested early 2019, to fill the innovation funnel for the upcoming years. Since early 2019, SkyTeam has been looking to implement the best services/ ideas suggested by its passengers in its airlines, thus completing the circle from research to implementation. Therefor, all that is left to wonder about is what lies ahead for 2020.

SkyTeam is a brand with a clear focus on creating a superior customer experience – scaled both in time and across touchpoints – to delight its customers. And that is in line with the beliefs of the ‘Experience Religion’; one of the five schools of thought we identified amid the existing abundance of theories and frameworks on how to grow strong brands.

Would you like to find out more about our brand-religion thinking? Then download the free bookzine or get in touch to learn what this could mean for your brand research.