China uses technology to delight travelers. Source: Shutterstock

China uses technology to delight travelers. Source: Shutterstock

How technology helps China take ‘first place’ in the passenger airline space

CHINA has long been at the forefront of leveraging technology to enhance customer experience.

Recently, a report revealed that China airlines and airports are upping the ante in passenger service by fully leveraging technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) and automation.

As a result, they’re able to provide the hyper-personalized self-service experience that passengers are demanding. These technologies are also being used to expand mobile services and to automate the passenger’s entire journey.

China’s eagerness to embrace AI is apparent.

Eighty-eight percent of airlines and airports in the country aim to run major AI programs by 2022, and the priority will be on virtual agents and chatbots.

This shows that China is listening to its passengers: 64 percent of who said they want a digital travel concierge, and already almost half of the airlines in China have AI-driven chatbot customer services.

China’s game in self-service is going strong. The country is now ready to embrace another disruptive technology, biometrics.

This is a huge step-change. To date, only 27 percent of airports have the capacity to allow passengers to self-board with biometrics and travel documents. However, in 3 years’ time, this will leap to 66 percent.

More than half of the airports in China have plans to secure single biometric tokens for all touchpoints by 2022. They are also committed to the full-scale deployment of self-serve boarding gates using biometric ID.

With all the hype around AI, China is careful to not neglect the importance of mobile services. By 2022, all Chinese airlines, and up to 93 percent of airports, will invest in mobile services to ease the passenger journey.

These services include check-in and flight status notifications, which are definitely a plus for weary travelers eager to get to their destination on time.

Also, China is looking at investing in mobile services that can personalize a passenger’s experience.

An example of such a service is customer relationship management, and is offered by up to 81 percent of airports. Further, China’s airports are also rolling out services to facilitate cashless payments via mobile.

China’s move to enhance customer experience with technology is a wise and necessary one. In this age of digitization, consumers are well-informed and have high expectations from service providers.

Technologies such as automation, machine learning, and AI can be leveraged to give customers the service that they expect, and even go a mile further by creating an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience.

The takeaway message from China’s move is that the time is ripe for technology to be integrated into all facets of businesses. Regardless of size, all enterprises should follow China’s lead and embrace technology to improve customer experience.