How a Well-designed Mobile App can Eliminate the Stress of Travel
Picture this: You’re sprinting through the maze-like airport as the airline calls your name over the intercom. You have exactly three minutes until they close the gate doors. You finally get there with 30 seconds to spare and try to quickly scan your boarding pass. You had downloaded it while waiting in the hour-long security line, thankful there was a convenient way to quickly access your info. But when you open your app, you can’t find your boarding pass. You reassure the ticketing agent you have it as beads of sweat drip down your face and you fumble with your phone. You tap frantically around until you finally find your ticket buried deep within the app.
If you’re a travel brand developing an app for your airline, hotel, rideshare, etc. you need to understand that your customer’s number one priority is convenience. They’ve downloaded your app to help make their lives easier, not harder. When customers are in a hurry, the last thing they need is for something completely out of their control to inconvenience you. Travel is hectic enough without having to deal with technology snafus, so let your app be a helpful tool rather than a hindrance to smooth travel. Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will help you understand the value of their feedback and input.
Here are some key ways travel apps can deliver a stress-free travel experience for their customers.
Personalize the customer experience
United Airlines’ recent app upgrade introduced several new unique features to enhance the customer experience using personalization. Customers who recently achieved loyalty milestones will be congratulated on the home screen and birthdays will be recognized as well. On top of that, the app becomes even more personalized when the customer is traveling. For example, United provides airport maps so customers can quickly and easily navigate to their terminal. In addition, two days prior to the customer’s scheduled flight, the home screen starts to populate with information regarding their travel reservations.
Clearly communicate changes and updates
This is a place Delta’s mobile app excels. If there’s an update to the app, users are informed on the “What’s New” screen. This not only helps customers be aware of any changes to the expected experience, but it also is a fantastic way to communicate their customer-centric approach to innovation. When you introduce changes to your app, you have the opportunity to message this as a response to customer feedback. This makes the customer feel valued and understood. It instills trust and peace-of-mind that the company will fix anything that breaks and create anything needed.
Offer a direct, two-way communication channel
In-app messaging turns your app into a communication channel. Two-way messaging helps you gather feedback, solve customer problems, and track customer sentiment. It makes it easy for customers to alert your customer success team of any issues with the app immediately. Your customer success team can then quickly respond directly to that customer, letting them know they’re heard and the team is working toward a solution. The best part about this is that it all takes place within your app, so the customer doesn’t have to navigate to a completely different platform to communicate effectively.
Remove roadblocks with an intuitive UI
Delta’s booking experience is a fantastic example of intuitive UI. It’s easy and simple to navigate the flight booking process from start to finish. The search function within the app provides several unique ways to customize the results such as showing the price either in currency or miles and sorting by class level. The less friction and effort it takes to book, the more bookings you’ll get.
Car sharing and rental service, Turo, approaches the booking experience in a unique and pain-free way as well. As you’re booking, they let you know how many more steps you have in front of you before booking. Oftentimes, customers start the booking process but then quit halfway through because they don’t know how much time it will take. Turo removes that uncertainty, which helps more customers book faster.
Provide a productive outlet for feedback
All of these features and tools are incredibly valuable for the success of your mobile travel app and improving the customer experience. But the number one most important strategy is proactively gathering feedback from customers. By asking for feedback in-app, you’re giving your customers the ability to express their feedback productively and your success team the opportunity to synthesize and respond appropriately.
Customers should always have an outlet to express their frustrations with your app or your brand, so giving them a space to do that privately and productively is paramount. You have to learn how to ask questions, prompt in-app surveys, and ask for feedback at the right time and place. When you provide a productive outlet for feedback like this, your team can learn so much more and build richer relationships with customers.
In addition to mitigating customer concerns, feedback can also help inform your product roadmap. Jetblue is the best example of this. Using customer feedback, they were able to hear from 25 percent of their customers (most brands only hear from one percent), avoid a dip in revenue during outages or bugs, and drive 80,000 more app downloads.
Want to see success like Jetblue? Start a demo of Apptentive’s mobile app customer feedback platform today.