How Delta Air Lines’ CX reached new heights with Emplifi

How Delta Air Lines’ CX reached new heights with Emplifi

Great customer experience is about more than just response times – companies should focus on the entire brand experience. Serving more than 180 million customers across the globe, American airline, Delta Air Lines, receives consistently high marks for customer satisfaction and its flight attendants play a crucial role. The company continues to deliver a high standard of in-the-moment support to its 22,000 flight attendants, using Emplifi.

With technology democratising most markets and placing any company’s competitors just a click away, ensuring your hard-won customers stay onside involves a lot more than offering a product or service at the right price. Building brand awareness and then presenting top-rate customer experiences is a multifaceted process.

Most industries are only just catching up when it comes to the digital customer experience (CX) they provide customers. The aviation industry in particular is showing significant progress, with airlines boasting the second quickest response time for consumers’ social media comments compared to other industries, as shown in Emplifi’s latest CX report.

However, there is still progress to be made, with airlines coming 19th out of 25 industries in terms of average number of user comments responded to. But this is just one piece of the puzzle – brands must remember that great CX is about more than just quick response times. They must translate this dedication to customer satisfaction throughout the entire brand experience. Before, during and after flight. This case study explores how one of the US’ major airlines, Delta, continues to deliver a high standard of in-the-moment support to its 22,000 flight attendants, using Emplifi.

Evolving technology brings new challenges

Serving more than 180 million customers across the globe, Delta Air Lines receives consistently high marks for customer satisfaction and its flight attendants play a crucial role. As the entire traveller experience has become more dependent on mobile and Internet-enabled technology, Delta Air Lines has adapted by equipping its flight attendants with handheld devices that provide them with key information, to allow them to better engage with customers while in flight.

These devices let flight attendants identify and greet travellers by name, address travel disruptions in real-time, provide connecting flight gate information, access FAA-mandated safety and service manuals, complete in-flight purchases and more.

With this new technology came a new opportunity for Delta Air Lines – how could it further leverage these new handheld devices to provide remote, in-the-moment support for its flight attendants, ultimately improving its customers’ experience?

To address this, Delta Air Lines sought a partner who could offer CRM, video chat and a customer-facing UI while delivering more valuable insight into customer interactions.

Sophisticated solutions for stronger in-flight support

Delta chose Emplifi’s Emplifi Agent and Emplifi SOS to deliver the optimal flight attendant and agent experience. Today’s customers expect responsiveness and immediacy from brands and companies across a range of channels and devices, so airlines need to significantly adapt to achieve this new proximity. An AI-driven chatbot is perfect for this, providing self-service experiences through web chat, SMS, social messaging, mobile apps and voice assistants. This helps with repetitive cases and frees up customer care agents for more complex cases, yet still allowing customers to connect with a human at any point in the interaction.

After a successful proof of concept, Delta’s flight attendants began using a custom-configured Emplifi app to resolve issues and get answers to questions in real-time. Emplifi’s chatbot solution was chosen to allow Delta’s agents to engage conversationally to find the answers they need, providing a more natural and convenient experience for flight attendants. Should they need more help, flight attendants can also choose to video chat with Delta’s support agents, who log the interactions in the Emplifi Agent CRM. Delta also leverages Emplifi Agent’s robust reporting capabilities to gauge overall customer satisfaction and glean insights into how they can better support its flight attendants.

“We empathised with our flight attendants during the challenging period of making the technology switch around their federally mandated customer service tool,” said Erica Smith, Manager, IFS Technology Delivery at Delta. “Emplifi enables us to offer more comprehensive, real-time support for our flight attendants using their existing in-flight handheld devices. We’ve also uncovered actionable insights into how we can continue to enhance the experience.”

In-the-moment support and valuable insights

Since early 2018, Delta’s flight attendant support agents have fielded more than 16,000 calls with more than half coming from the new Emplifi app. Flight attendants are able to quickly get the assistance they need, allowing them to focus on providing the exceptional level of guest service expected by Delta Airlines passengers.

And with Emplifi Agent, the support team has the tools to resolve any issues or questions more quickly, delivering a high standard of service to Delta’s more than 22,000 flight attendants. And this isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’ exercise – achieving great CX has also impacted Delta’s bottom-line. “Centralising our flight attendant support efforts using Emplifi technology saved us over US$2 million in the first three years of the programme,” said Angela Gammill, General Manager – IFS Technology and Innovation. “The Emplifi solutions have allowed us to achieve the operational excellence that Delta strives for.”

In addition to providing convenient, in-the-moment support, Emplifi’s technology has delivered unprecedented visibility into the process, enabling Delta to drive the enhancements that matter most to its flight attendants. In the future, the Delta team looks forward to adding even more functionality to improve the entire experience for travellers, attendants and agents alike.

While aviation is putting these technologies to good use, flight attendants’ handheld devices are not unique to the airline industry, and neither are the multiple positives the company has gained from improving processes that create unforgettable customer experiences. Identifying customers personally, giving real-time information, providing help and support and helping to complete purchases – all of these functions are in daily use by Delta staff, but none are industry-specific.

Smith added: “Bots are on an ever-evolving tool with numerous applications. If you want to enhance the experience across the board, you must first understand the needs of your customer, and then build a robust team to fully engage with the technology. That’s how to drive true business value.”

Clear skies ahead

Delta flight attendants play a critical role in keeping customers and each other safe, as well as protecting the airlines top-tier reputation. Emplifi’s Emplifi Agent and Emplifi SOS provide the tools and real-time support they need to continue to deliver the ‘Delta Difference’.

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