EyeforTravel North America 2018

October 2018, Las Vegas

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Air Mauritius: the airline digital journey continues

Social media is a valuable tool for destination marketing but it is becoming increasingly important for customer service too

Marketing a destination like Mauritius, with its heavenly beaches, lagoons and reefs, its wild and mountainous interior and unique sub-tropical wildlife shouldn’t be too difficult! 

But in the airline business, competition is fierce, as Youvraj Seeam, a digital marketing & eCommerce professional at Air Mauritius, understands only too well. At this week’s SimpliFlying Airline Marketing & Digital Innovation Lab, Seeam was in a morning hot seat discussing the future of destination marketing in the digital era. Earlier this year, he spoke at EyeforTravel Europe about pioneering the future customer experience. And, since it is Friday, here is a free Friday video!

As a smaller airline, Air Mauritius has to act nimbly to compete with bigger spending rivals that include the likes of Emirates. And, although it may not have such deep pockets, the airline has used advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing to tell its story. It has its own Made in Mauritius blog and the hashtag #airmauritius360 has been successful image driven campaign.

While an airline like flying from a destination like Air Mauritius may have no shortage of impressive content, that is sometimes one of the problems. Jamie Keenan, a digital content executive at British Airways, who was attending the SimpliFlying workshop, said sometimes the volume of content can be overwhelming. This point was also made in an EyeforTravel story yesterday by upcoming Las Vegas speaker Michael Childers, the chief consultant of content & media strategy at Lufthansa Systems.

The changing face of social

While social media is now widely used in marketing and branding efforts, SimpliFlying’s Airline Social Media Outlook 2019 report, released this week, finds that the role it plays in customer service is becoming centre stage. According to the report, customer service teams are now more involved in the social media efforts of 44% of airlines, up from 26% last year. Metrics have also improved with an increased focus on resolution times and resolution rates. Tim Larkin, a social media manager at Etihad, said his team now had first response times down to 13 minutes. 

Only this week, customers took took to social media to complain about British Airways' handling of a crisis that saw the data of 380,000 British Airways' customers compromised in the first hack since the introduction of GDPR. 

 Customer service teams are now more involved in the social media efforts of 44% of airlines, up from 26% last year

Source: SimpliFlying Airline Social Media Outlook 2019

While the uptake of chatbots for customer service is slower than one might expect, even British Airways has not officially announced one, this is certainly something that many are at least considering. While Air Mauritius doesn’t have a chatbot yet, it is exploring options. 

Seeam says the airline has looked at various solutions including ones from Microsoft, IBM Watson as well as a white label solution from Caravelo, which might be “easier to customise”. A roadmap has been outlined, and will likely be to start with frequently asked questions, followed by integration of the booking and payment processes. 

Join us at one of our upcoming events, in Las Vegas or Amsterdam to find out more about how digital technologies are impacting the travel journey 

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