British Airways has announced a rollout of its ‘Know Me’ customer service programme.
The service, which has been developed by the carrier “over several years”, includes the ability for crew to search Google images to enable them to recognise and greet passengers on arrival at the airport or aircraft.
The rollout of the initiative follows the equipping of customer service agents and senior cabin crew with iPads, allowing them to access passenger data including Executive Club status, previous travel arrangements, special meal requests and onward travel plans (see online news November 9, 2011).
Examples given by BA of potential uses for the service include crew being informed:
- that a Silver Executive Club member is flying in business class for the first time “thereby enabling the crew member to welcome that customer and explain the benefits of the cabin”
- if a regular traveller has experienced any issues on previous flights, such as a delay due to weather, to enable them to “go the extra mile, recognise the previous issue and thank the customer for their continued patronage”
Interestingly BA says that “The most recent advancement of the system enables the British Airways team to search Google images for a photo of specific customers, so they can recognise them as soon as they enter the airport or aircraft and proactively approach them”.
Business Traveller tried this with a few members of the editorial team with mixed results – for instance anyone trying to google this writer will see images returned of entirely different people – and it remains to be seen whether passengers appreciate having themselves googled in this way.
BA says that as it rolls out the service, it aims to be sending 4,500 personal recognition messages per day by the end of 2012, “with even greater scope for growth in the future”. The carrier has also set up a “delivery lab” to analyse the way it communicates with customers, so that “only the most relevant and interesting messages are sent to them”.
Commenting on the service Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at British Airways said that the carrier is “essentially trying to recreate the feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant when you’re welcomed there, but in our case it will be delivered by thousands of staff to millions of customers”.
For more information visit ba.com.
Report by Mark Caswell
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