The future travel experience we deserve
This week on the CES 2020 main stage Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian presented a vision about the future of seamless travel experience that “might happen in just a few years.” Many of us have been working towards this vision for the last 5 years.
In my former role as the Head of Customer Experience in JetBlue Airways, I built business cases and mapped traveler journeys across US airports and government agencies boards. All of them looked exactly like the projects Delta presented onstage. Now, five years later, we are still at the excitement stage about the “multimodal travel future.” But we are not much closer to its intentional implementation at scale. Why, even though so many individuals and companies are imagining and designing seamless travel experiences, do we still encounter dreadful airport experiences?
Government Agencies Commitment to the Future of Travel Experience
No technology or airline company can build a seamless end-to-end airport experience without a real commitment. That commitment must come from all government agencies in the US that intersect with travel.
What kind of a commitment? We need a commitment that translates into changing existing legislation as necessary. Decision makers from all stakeholders must come to the table. Then, those decision makers need to make the right tweaks to regulation that match the new world we live in today. That empowers us to build the future of travel experience we know we deserve.
It is time to redefine core definitions in the context of the current technology that has enabled automation to ACT AS A HUMAN. This revolutionary concept must be incorporated in the legislative language in order for key technologies to become “ready for reality.”
WiFi in Airports Support the Future of Travel Experience
Digitally enabled airports require both high speed internet like 5G and wifi channels that are dedicated exclusively to any technology that gives travelers REAL TIME information. Think about gate displays, flight information boards, facial recognition enabled boarding. Or think about any meaningful, personalized phygital experience.
The business case does not work for airlines to pay for the installation of this type of foundational technology. However, unless an airport is “common use” (meaning the airport controls the technology like in Orlando), airlines are told they are supposed to pay for the dedicated wifi channels.
Let me give you an example. Let’s imagine we have a gate that boards people only using their faces. In order for this to be scalable, airlines need airport personnel to be equipped with iPads that show what is happening at the boarding touch point in REAL TIME. Why? So if something goes wrong, they can come and service the customer. Do not forget that boarding a flight on time is one of the top drivers of both airlines’ and customers’ success. None of us can afford to stop boarding because the wifi is slow!
ROI and Public Good
At their core, airlines are still part of public transportation. Ridesharing companies do not have that public service in their ethos. Lyft passengers have an alternative. They can get on a PUBLIC transportation to get to their destination. Flyers do not have this luxury.
Airlines must think about this when they design services. Let’s take bags delivery as an example. I spent almost one year trying to figure out how to make bags delivery affordable for all of our customers. We really wanted to launch “bag buddy.” But the financials simply did not work.
See, we did not want to launch technology that only serves the rich and leaves the coach customer behind, in a drastically different travel reality. The financial challenge is a real obstacle to making Ed Bastian’s vision a reality. Either we need to start paying more for our travel, or the government needs to find a way to subsidize the costs for the future world of travel.
Technology is not the scarce resource for the future of travel experience. Change management, stakeholders co-creation, and shared revenue models are needed for the vision boards we all have to come to life. Collaboration is not enough. We all have been collaborating for years… We need to commit to changing the way we manage and control travel. Regulators need to rewrite regulations with the goal of bringing digital ID in the law, airports and airlines need to finally agree who owns the customer and not offer two apps to travelers on the ground, and companies like Verizon need to figure out how to make 5G available across the country. Do not throw the party before we do all of this.
Let’s not wait for the future to happen to us. Let’s CREATE the future we know we deserve.
4 Career Tips to obtain a Customer Experience Role
In honor of the 4th of July, we are rounding up 4 career tips for CX professionals. Set aside some time during the break from work to take stock in your CX career and evaluate the steps you need to get to the next level.
CX Design Makes Form and Function Beautiful – and Cosmopolitan Magazine Notices
At its core, design is about value creation. In the world of Customer Experience, value-driven design requires CX professionals to use empathy to imagine a future customer experience that is…
Hiring Tips: Who Should I Hire First on My CX Team
The pressure to demonstrate business impact and ROI on your Customer Experience initiatives quickly makes your first hire even more important. As usual, there is no answer that fits all scenarios perfectly. We have some helpful strategies to consider based on the structure of your organization and your goals.
Culture Is King – The Power Of Employee Engagement
In 2017 we introduced our ROI series recognizing the challenges all customer experience professionals have to obtain funding for CX initiatives and to prove their positive returns. Our second ROI…
WeWork Does CX Right with a Wow Moment
Used at the right time and place along the customer’s journey, the Wow Moment is an excellent retention technique. When a brand creates personal, relevant experience at exactly the right time, it can build a lifelong, loyal customer relationship.
Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX
If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.
Aviation Industry, Coronavirus Isn’t the Only Thing Killing Us
Eighteen years ago, September 11th caused a three-day halt of the US commercial airlines and resulted in a 31.6% reduction in travel in September 2001 compared to the previous year….
Would You Pitch In To Save Toys “R” Us For Your Children To Experience? #ToysRUsGoFundMe
Last week we laid out the big moves that the leadership of Toys ‘R’ Us failed to take to evolve with customer needs and thus joins other brands as examples of…
Why Customer Retention is the True Measure of SaaS Success
Guest Post by Callie Reynolds for The Petrova Experience In SaaS (Software as a Service), like in most businesses, sales is king. Sales gets the glory, and while I’d like…
Employee Experience Strategy and Customer Experience Depend on Strategy
This week, Andy Newman wrote a great article in The New York Times about the life of a retail sales agent. He used the example of an Old Navy sales…
Liliana Petrova Talks Patient Experience in Healthcare Podcast
Recently, we recorded a podcast on patient experience in healthcare with Stacey Richter. And today, we are excited to share it with you. Patient Experience in Healthcare vs Passenger Experience…
Autonomous Customers, Traveler Privacy and More Questions for CX Professionals in a Changing World
“As we move toward a more automated culture, most travelers will adapt to a Jetsonian, automated lifestyle. Every industry we know will be disrupted. For those of us in aviation,…
Customer Experience Technology View of your Call Center
By 2022 the global cloud based contact center market is growing from USD 6.8Bn in 2017 to 20.93Bn in 2022. This makes for CAGR of 25.2%. If you do not…
Create Your Tribe: How Great CX Makes a Lifestyle Brand
Newcomers to the market realize that their business is only as strong as the growth of their customer base. With that in mind, senior leaders work hard to shorten the distance between them and the customer.
Our Holiday Wishes for Great CX
Every successful customer experience initiative starts with a skilled CX team. Brush up on your CX skills to strengthen the business case for CX; to develop relationships within your organization; and to deliver standout customer experiences in the new year.
Customer Experience Audit: Cadillac Scores Millennial Customers with Future-Forward Thinking
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. See all the audit stories. The automotive industry is right next to the airline industry in terms…
Culture Starts at the Top
Without a leader who believes that today’s business success is about acquiring and retaining customers, you cannot even begin the process of building a culture. Leaders who are passionate about the customer are also passionate about creating culture and employee engagement.
Customer Experience Tips and Best Practices In 2017?
In Post 2 of Liliana Petrova’s series on customer experience tips, lessons learned, and best practices for the new year on JetBlue, she explores the importance of “keeping the human…
Customer Experience, Self Service, and the Gift of Time
Time is the most precious gift in life. If you think about it, time is the one thing we all want more of. As we get older and busier, time gets even more valuable to us.
What is Customer Experience? What are the Faces of CX?
Each area of CX represents a path for CX professionals to impact business health and build successful careers. One of my favorite CX analogies is that it is like the blood in our bodies. When CX is done well, it touches every aspect of an organization. That’s what makes customer experience so much fun! You will never be bored working in CX.
Customer Facing Experience: Communication and Hospitality
Today, we are talking about communication as part of the customer facing experience. This is one of the most misused and misinterpreted notions both in our professional lives and our…
From Pain Points to Magical Moments: Transform the Customer Experience
Argyle Journal interviewed Liliana Petrova about emerging self service technology and meeting and exceeding customer expectations in airports. In the below recording Liliana explains how JetBlue addresses the pain points…
Leadership During the Pandemic: Guest Post by Rachel Dreyfus
This is a guest post by Rachel Dreyfus, President, Dreyfus Advisors, who researched leadership during the pandemic. How has Covid19 influenced leadership over the past three months? Research results show…
How to Be an Entrepreneur: 5 Things I Learned in 5 Months as an Entrepreneur
The life of an entrepreneur is different every day, but the one thing that remains the same is that we are always learning. These are my lessons in how to…
CX Skills Builders: You May Have a CX Job and Not Know It
Last week we talked about the identity crisis of CX professionals and we urged you to fix any small problem or seam on the customer journey in order to build internal brand equity and buy in.
Poor Integration is Bad for Customer Journey and Worse for Brands
Although we all have bad customer experiences, there is still a big debate about “the CX field” and whether it will survive the test of time. There is no doubt…
Get Customer Experience Basics Right and You Don’t Need to Invest in Wow Moments
Wow Moments are a Customer Experience hot topic. Customer experience professionals ideate how to build, prioritize, finance, and measure these Wow Moments. Chip and Dan Heath wrote a whole book on the topic: The Power of Moments. No Wow Moment saves you from negative word of mouth if your brand fails to get the customer experience basics right or to deliver the expected brand experience consistently.
Coronavirus Travel: What Does Hospitality Mean Now?
I want to tell you about my recent passenger experience. Earlier this week, I traveled to New Orleans from JFK Terminal 5 in New York. I had planned an airport…
Customer Experience Survey: Why Customers Are Not Responding
When you solicit customer feedback sometimes matters more than how you ask the questions. In the case of a survey about new biometrics boarding initiatives my team and I created for JetBlue, we had a list of feedback that was most important for us.
Travel Experience Stories: How Not to Leave Customers Stranded
Meet Diane, and get to know her travel experience story. Diane is traveling with her 2 year old and 5 year old to her in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving. This is…
Customer Experience Audit: Mobile Provider Eliminates Remote Workforce
How to balance the efficiency call center metric FCR (first call resolution) with wait and talk time? JetBlue promotes human interactions as a brand promise.
How a Personal Interaction builds Customer Loyalty
A customer-centric methodology is key to the successful outcome of my interaction with Hello Spud. It is the reason this story appears here, and not among the CX Big Fails! The company did not send an automated response. It did not deliver a message stating “sorry we couldn’t help you, would you like something else.” Instead, the company co-founder reached out to me personally across multiple channels (a handwritten note, followed by personal emails).
Freelance Customer Experience Lessons for Freelancers
For small businesses and freelancers alike, it’s important to recognize that your business is as strong as the relationships you build with your customers. That’s just one of the key…
Is Covid19 What We Needed to Build Seamless End-to-End Travel Experience?
On January 10th, we published an article called The Future of Travel We Deserve. In it, we laid out the foundation necessary to implement innovation at scale. Four months later,…
How to Extend Your Travel Experience Value Proposition
Last December the Ladders published that discusses business travelers who extend travel beyond the timeline of the business trip. The article says, “[a]ccording to a new study by La Quinta by…
What is Telemedicine? Keeping Medicine at the Heart
Guest Post by Dr. Melynda Barnes for The Petrova Experience. In this post Dr. Barnes answers the question “what is telemedicine,” and reminds us to keep medicine at the heart…
Customer Experience Audit: New York Times Beats Google
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. In this series we walk you through customer experience examples across industries. We feature brands that made…
Let’s Get You Certified as a Customer Experience Professional!
Like all mature professions, customer experience has a certification that is internationally recognized. Adding it to your resume will signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your aspiration to be part of its leadership ranks…
Customer Experience Audit: eBay’s Vibrant Marketplace of the Future
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. See all audit stories. Two years ago RJ Pittman and eBay made a big bet and made…
How to talk to your CFO about customer experience and revenue growth
Last month we introduced the topic of Customer Experience ROI and the complexity of building a good business case for it. The Customer Experience business case is strong, but not easy to prove. Today we will focus on two big wins of a successful customer experience investment – revenue and customer growth of your business.
CX Bold Moves: JetBlue Paperless And Deviceless Boarding
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of CX Bold Moves. See all the CX Bold Moves stories. This year JetBlue entered the ranks of the innovators who…
Why Bt2B Businesses Must Think Like B2C in the Next Decade
B2B vs B2B thinking makes a real difference when it comes to customer experience. According to Gartner at least 80% of B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience as…
3 Ways to Create a Better Employee Experience Strategy
Guest Post by Gabe Smith, CCXP for The Petrova Experience The relationship between employee experience strategy and customer experience has long been discussed. Without engaged employees, we’re told, it’s difficult…