How does AirAsia ensure customer happiness? Source: Shutterstock

How does AirAsia ensure customer happiness? Source: Shutterstock

Behind the scenes with AirAsia’s Chief Customer Happiness Officer

AIRLINES that thrive know that it’s critical to put their customer first.

It’s why AirAsia has a Chief Customer Happiness Officer (CCHO) — Adam Geneave — who oversees the airline’s customer happiness teams including all voice and digital contact centers. The CCHO is also responsible for customer strategy, insights, systems, and product innovation at the AirAsia Group.

In an interview with Tech Wire Asia, Geneave provided some interesting insights into not only what the airline is doing with digital to delight customers but also how the airline measures customer happiness and endeavors to improve.

“Throughout 2019, we have been creating next-generation digital channels by introducing contact through AirAsia Virtual Allstar (AVA), our advanced AI-powered chatbot, which links to our LiveChat team as well as Social Media and Messaging channels: WeChat and Facebook Messenger.”

While AVA might be a chatbot, the company seems convinced it can transform customer interactions. It’s why bot has been trained to speak 11 languages and interact with more than 50,000 AirAsia guests every day.

In fact, the chatbot is so sophisticated, Geneave says it can manage more than 75 percent of conversations all by itself.

“Our guests can book flights, add ancillary products to their bookings, update their details, check their flight status and ask AVA questions about any of AirAsia’s products and services,” said Generave proudly.

Aside from investing in the chatbot, Geneave tells Tech Wire Asia that the company has also integrated all of its voice and digital call center case tracking, enabling customers to have instant 24/7 support to a faster, easier experience with Customer Support teams — irrespective of the platform they choose.

AirAsia also uses a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform to improve the richness of its engagement with customers.

At its core, the low-cost airline insists that “being low cost never means low service. Customer Happiness is all about making sure we can immediately respond to our guests at all times and through channels they most prefer to use.”

Geneave, with more than a decade of experience in the airline industry, acknowledges that show empathy and treating each customer as an individual is critical to success and part of AirAsia’s values.

Delighting customers and measuring happiness

AirAsia AllStars, its customer service agents, play a crucial role in delighting customers — and it’s there that interactions are tracked to measure customer happiness.

“Every customer who speaks to a Customer Happiness Allstar is provided with a survey, based on that we measure our performance on two key metrics, Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and First Contact Resolution (FCR).

“Over the past 12 months, we have seen significant increases in both these statistics (CSAT increased from 60 percent to 90 percent and FCR from 45 percent to 80 percent) as a result of our digitalization program.”

Of course, technology aside, empowering and supporting front line staff helps AirAsia achieve a good balance between cost and happiness — said Geneave.

However, from time to time, the airline also directly engages with customers in an effort to better understand customers, learn what they’re doing well and where they’re failing, and find ways to improve quickly.

“We hold frequent Customer 360 events where we invite AirAsia guests from across our network to attend full-day workshops with our Customer Happiness team.

“In these workshops, our guests share all the pros and cons of traveling with us, and work with us to develop agile enhancement projects to continue to innovate and improve our customer journey experience.

“This is one of the best ways we ensure that customer-led change is prioritized and customers are provided with the products and services that they really want.”

Overall, the airline, in a bid to transform into a technology company, is optimizing every aspect of its business using digital products and solutions — and customers will always be the first to benefit. That’s the best way to ensure customer happiness.