In our most recent strategy session, the UNEX Management Consultancy Team had the pleasure of a live online discourse with a former CEO of a top global legacy airline – a true and highly innovative ‘leader’ of our industry and wonderful personality to boot!
It was inspirational to say the least – so much so, it’s prompted me to write this, my first article for our very own unique Newsletter, The ‘UNEX OBSERVER’. So here goes..
Now, COVID ‘indoorism’ has undoubtedly significantly altered global consumers across every industry sector. It’s nurtured them to become even more ‘digitally nomadic’ across all walks of life – ordering and booking all their needs online; home-office working routines as well as meeting up with their loved ones in the virtual world of their MOBILE DEVICES.
Everyone has become accustomed to being able to obtain pretty much anything day & night, 365 days a year. Consumers are prompted with shopping baskets created by their favorite online retailers; and, as a result, often spend their well-earned funds on things they didn’t really know they needed at all. That’s reality of everyday life and it’s here to stay. Everything we need to buy or know is a simply a mobile screen away. And the public has been educated what kind of service is possible if a company truly puts customer satisfaction first.
So, how does our treasured airline industry fare in this environment? Well, to be honest, with just a few notable exceptions, NOT VERY WELL at all. For example, when was the last time you managed to receive a fare refund online, hassle free? Within – for you as the customer – what can be considered a ‘reasonable’ time-frame?
Or, as you plan to depart on your trip, has anyone advised you when you should set off to the airport, indeed even booked your preferred transportation mode directly to the airport and back? Or informed you how long you’ll have to spend queuing at security?
Furthermore, have you ever felt at ease on-board in the knowledge that your checked-in luggage is definitely travelling with you? Or if it’s not, that you’ll be notified as soon as you land, with a proactive promise to deliver it directly to you once it does arrive at your destination.
Naturally, as ‘industry insiders’, we all know the all-too-common ‘solid reasons’ provided for this – It’s too costly to replace legacy systems; high complexity of current IT platforms that unfortunately don’t really communicate with one another; it’s impossible to get the data, data privacy issues; etc.
But wait a minute – how do other industry sectors manage – and successfully create innovative solutions to very similar challenges? Surely we can too, at least more often than the few ‘exceptions’ who then suddenly might lead the way. Surely there are plenty of ‘start-ups’ out there growing daily that could technically rise to this challenge, given some direction.
If our industry can’t quickly address these ever more common travel–related needs in our increasingly digitally savvy world, then there are plenty of other ‘onliners’ out there eager to grab the ‘disposable leisure income’ of potential travel customers. To purchase that new device they didn’t really need but felt compelled to buy at such a competitive price!
It’s high time to face the music and shift our industry digitally forward. The good news is, at UNEX, we’re here to help. We have innovative solutions we’d love to share with you. That we know will really work, because they’re not mere ‘theoretical models’ untried & tested.
So please, don’t wait for others to go first. Or worse still, don’t keep the commercial ‘status quo’ by burying heads in the proverbial sand. Let’s move our industry on, quickly. You know where to find us – we very much look forward to seeing you on the other side!
Thank you, your UNEX Management Consulting Team