The holiday season is a time of lots of movement. People run into shops to buy their last gifts or the last ingredients for their feast, look for the perfect party outfit, and cram their bags to the last minute, before they go home on an often long journey. Excitement, stress, and loss of time precede the holiday calm and reflections.
Crowded shopping malls and endless queues cause chaos and frustration among consumers. In fact, nine out of ten shoppers avoid a store when queues are too long.
Excite with digital services
When shopping is done and presents are wrapped, a trip to loved ones is still in store. Holiday travellers often use flight or driving time estimates to plan their arrival.
Airlines have recognised these needs and are offering their passengers the option of ordering on-board meals online. In June 2018 Delta Airlines expanded their popular online meal pre-order service to international routes.
In recent years, Delta has done a lot to provide its customers with excellent experiences. Innovations such as the introduction of optional biometric check-in on domestic flights or biometric self-service bag delivery take the customer experience to a whole new level.
“We want to make dining at 30,000 feet feel like dining at a favourite restaurant. Giving customers the ability to choose their meal in advance is a big part of that. It speeds up the process for our flight attendants too, giving them more time to spend with customers.”
– Lisa Bauer, Delta, Vice President – On-Board Services.
Lufthansa customers can also benefit from such premium services and select delicious treats individually.
Other transport sectors are also aware of the relevance of this comfort. For example, railways have begun experimenting with similar personalisation and convenience offerings.
A railway bistro via click and touch at your seat
Deutsche Bahn (German National Rail) has also been working on digital services in recent times in order to be able to offer passengers comfortable and time-saving travel experiences.
Updating their app, DB Navigator, was the first step. Thanks to comfort check-in, passengers are spared the ticket control in the ICE (Bullet Train).
The control process is automated. If a traveller checks in via DB Navigator, their data is transferred from the app to a server and from there to the mobile terminal of the train attendant, said Golem, a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn. But the optimisation of a travel experience does not end here.
The group wants to maximise the comfort and accelerate the customer service of the Bordbistros. According to a report by t3n, Deutsche Bahn is testing a new service in the ICEs on their route to and from Paris. Passengers in first and second class have the opportunity to send orders to the dining car via a website.
But there is a difference between first and second class in terms of performance of the service: While the latter receive their order via Click and Collect, passengers of the first class get it sent directly to their seat.
A direct payment via the app would make waiting times in the Bordbistro and the delivery process even faster. In addition, the railway could then consider integrating their loyalty program into the order service.
The online ordering service will be implemented in cooperation with the order management startup Smoothr.
Unique customer service is a clear competitive advantage. Experimenting with an existing variety of technologies, gaining experience and understanding the customer even better, are the steps necessary for true innovation.
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