In the face of intense competition forcing diminished differentiation United Airlines wanted to make sure it didn’t regress to delivering the same commoditized product to all of its customers. United was determined to galvanize its organization to improve the experience of its most profitable customers: loyal business travellers.
United brought together key functions throughout the company to re-define the end-to-end customer experience and develop its own, unique “service philosophy.” United was intent on becoming: “A service company committed to delivering travel experiences that make customers feel respected, relaxed, and rewarded.”
Building on a factual foundation of segment behaviors, purchase drivers, and funnel economics, the team facilitated internal ideation to develop a comprehensive list of ideas for new signature experiences. These were prioritized based on the modeled economic impact of high-value customers. The key signature touch points identified were a premium lobby and boarding process for frequent flyers, and improved seats for first class and business class international passengers. To support these changes, new internal training was developed for customer-facing employees.
For the first time in years, United surpassed American Airlines in terms of percentage of Super Elites flying an airline most often, and also surpassed American in customer experience ratings.