New Research Underscores Need for Digital-First Engagement as Airline Passengers Navigate More Complex Customer Journeys

Study Provides an Inside Look at the Airline Industry’s Consumer Communications Challenges During a Period of Unprecedented Disruption and the Need for Transformation

Customer Communications Are Up 300 Percent, Even Though Global Flight Loads Are Only One-Fifth of Pre-Pandemic Volumes

MELVILLE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#airlines–Airline flight volumes are down, but airline customer communication is at an all-time high due to issues of flight cancellations, refunds, and credit and voucher requests. Airlines saw an increase of 300 percent in monthly conversations around flight bookings, at a time when global passenger numbers have been trending around one-fifth of 2019 levels, according to research conducted by Verint® (Nasdaq: VRNT), The Customer Engagement Company.

The research provides an inside look at the airline industry’s consumer communications challenges during a period of unprecedented disruption and the need for transformation. As the airline industry begins to rebound and rebuild, it is “landing” in a radically new world of customer engagement challenges.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel has become a more complex customer journey ‒ fraught with new questions, concerns, and high-flying anxiety levels. Meanwhile, cost-cutting measures over the past decade have left many airlines with antiquated support systems and overwhelmed contact centers ill-equipped to handle the surge.

Additionally, significant channel shift has taken place over the past two years, with consumer preference growing for use of third-party messaging services such as Apple Business Chat, Twitter, WhatsApp and more.

Verint researchers say we could see a 15x growth in customer conversations on private messaging channels when passenger numbers return to pre-pandemic levels.

Verint’s Guide to Digital-First Engagement for the Airline Industry explores the fundamental changes experienced by the airline industry since March 2020 and the digital-first engagement imperative to meet the needs of the modern consumer.

“Technology will increasingly change the way we fly, and airlines must change their focus from cost containment to customer centricity,” says Evan Kirstel, a business-to-business thought leader and prominent influencer in digital transformation.

“Leaders in the industry need to commit to a wholesale shift in strategy. Innovation requires airlines to look beyond the obvious, via an in-depth and 360-degree view of customer needs. This entails first understanding customers, and then building the operations, processes, information, and tech necessary to deliver on their needs,” Kirstel continues.

The report provides several recommendations for airlines:

  • Develop a digital-first engagement strategy with proactive analysis of customer conversations to understand trends. This enables deployment of the right automation in the right channels to scale effectively while still retaining efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction.
  • Consider integrating private messaging channels to support the shift in consumer behavior toward digital channels. These channels enable the brand to build rich asynchronous experiences that can manage consumer issues all the way to resolution.
  • Employ intelligent automation by building Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) to reduce agent workload and address high-volume customer intents.

“A digital-first engagement strategy ensures that regardless of customer demand, brands can provide a superior customer experience across the channels customers want to use most,” says Verint’s Heather Richards, vice president, go-to-market strategy. “Intelligent automation helps to scale responses, so that brands are able to meet or exceed customer expectations.”

About Verint

Verint® (Nasdaq: VRNT) helps the world’s most iconic brands – including over 85 of the Fortune 100 companies – build enduring customer relationships by connecting work, data and experiences across the enterprise. The Verint Customer Engagement portfolio draws on the latest advancements in AI and analytics, an open cloud architecture, and The Science of Customer Engagement to help customers close The Engagement Capacity Gap.

Verint. The Customer Engagement Company. Learn more at Verint.com.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” including statements regarding expectations, predictions, views, opportunities, plans, strategies, beliefs, and statements of similar effect relating to Verint Systems Inc. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and they are based on management’s expectations that involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements. For a detailed discussion of these risk factors, see our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2022, and other filings we make with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release and, except as required by law, Verint assumes no obligation to update or revise them or to provide reasons why actual results may differ.

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