A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a powerful software tool that offers unquestionable benefits in any line of business. For the airport, it facilitates efficient use of resources and an improved customer experience around travelling:
Efficiency: There is nothing worse for a passenger who has arrived in plenty of time than having to rush to a gate miles away. CRM enables real-time calculations that allow air traffic control to guide planes to terminals close to relevant connecting flights.
Lower Costs: The CRM system’s data analytics allow the airport to save on having to reroute passengers and compensate missed flights or hotel stays. It enables resource management, such tailoring employee hours to periods of high and low demand.
Improved Passenger Experience: The analysis of big data means that passengers can enjoy a customised flight experience. Even boarding passes could be personalised with the possibility of producing user-friendly printouts in the individual passenger’s native language.
But with many airports taking advantage of data capture opportunities afforded by the integrated travel and parking solutions such as those offered by Rezcomm, the work of the CRM system is not confined to the customer as a traveller: There is huge scope to extend it to the customer as a shopper within the terminal building.
A Prior Introduction
For airports that use an integrated travel and parking solution, customer data is collected through the airport website on purchase. This means a relationship can be developed before the customer even sets off for the terminal.
The detailed segmentation offered by eCRM makes it possible for clever targeting of email marketing campaigns, which provide travellers with the personalised experience they expect.
It is easier to sell to existing customers than build a new customer base. In fact, it costs five times more to attract a new customer than to maintain a relationship with an existing shopper.
Offers can be sent to all of the customers on the CRM database, giving the best possibility to increase sales. However, the data segmentation within the system enables the airport to market to existing customers in a way that is relevant to each individual, and effective in terms of conversion.
Timely marketing emails before the travel date give the customer choices and an opportunity to interact with the airport’s products and services prior to arriving.
Remember: When a customer receives a new offer, they are prompted to consider that offer. Just by prompting this thought, the chance of a sale increases.
Meet and Greet
To understand the customer and to provide a satisfying passenger and shopping experience at the airport, it is essential to understand the customer profile and adapt retail experiences and promotions accordingly.
The airport needs to find out who its customers are.
A customer arrives at the airport on public transport, having booked flight tickets through the airline. The airport has no data on this person. So how does the airport strike up a conversation, and turn this traveller into an asset?
Fact: 88% of an airport’s most affluent customers (most likely to buy) sign up to Wi-Fi in the airport terminal
Fact: The first thing 81% of these people do as soon as the Wi-Fi activates is check their email.
A free Wi-Fi service that requires a sign-up is a great way to connect with this customer. It offers something of value (free browsing) in return for the customer’s personal details.
As soon as the form is filled in to activate the network, the customer heads to read his or her emails. The first thing he sees in his inbox is a welcome email, automated within the eCRM system and triggered by the sign-up, offering up-to-the-minute, exclusive promotions right there in the terminal building.
The eCRM email marketing functions within the CRM software create opportunities to maximise revenue by interacting intelligently with customers, with a clear understanding of what they want and need.
The almost universal use of mobile means that customers are able to receive and respond immediately to email promotions. By sending timely communications featuring upsell or cross-sell products, the customer gains a better experience and a trust relationship between airport and customer is forged.
It is then possible to engage the customer by offering further options such as subscriptions to newsletters and special offers, and on-site forms and surveys, all of which create data that is then stored in the CRM system, building sophisticated customer profiles.
2016 saw a significant shift in the way online retailers are reaching shoppers. WorldPay’s omni-channel report highlighted the extent of the trend, showing that omni-channel shoppers spend between 50 and 300% more than single channel shoppers.
While retail has acknowledged the consumer’s increasing desire to shop how they want, where they want for a long time, airport retailers have been slow on the uptake. According to MindSet, 61% of European Millennials say integrating store, online and mobile shopping experiences are the areas where retailers need the most improvement, and this is where the airport can step up.
CRM software enables the customer to connect with the airport brand on a personal level on any platform. Increasingly this means Facebook check-ins and engagements with Pinterest and Instagram, with millennials using the most information sources when making a purchase, often beginning their journey with referrals from Facebook friends.
At the same time, customers will stick with trusted sellers who offer convenience and deliver on promise, and will happily turn to Amazon or eBay to buy what they want, reliably, with perks such as free shipping.
The omni-channel approach within the terminal includes physical merchandise sales, staff engagement, a sense of place and emotional connection, loyalty schemes and rewards, and crucially, a mobile-friendly online presence, featuring mobile payment options and pick-up points for pre-ordered goods.
Airport shoppers buy products for five main reasons:
To improve their travel experience
Buying a gift
To indulge themselves
To save money or tax
For a customer wishing to bag a bargain, there’s nothing to stop them from heading to Amazon to do a quick price-check. In order to compete, this 360° approach to airport retail is a must, engaging the shopper and encouraging them to spend money within the terminal.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The longer a retailer goes without communicating with its customers, the less likely those people are to make a purchase. The CRM system will hold valuable analytics about individual shopping habits, which allows for ongoing automated email strategies. Why not upsell as part of the purchase cycle, after the initial purchase has been selected, or use other purchase or browsing triggers such as unfulfilled basket adds to initiate an email?
For returning customers, an upsell suggests a bigger, better, more luxurious version of what they bought last time. Let people know if a new product is on sale, and consider offering travel-relevant items that add comfort and convenience to the customer’s journey.
CRM software will tell you exactly which products the customer bought previously, allowing unlimited opportunities for product recommendations and happy customers. These in turn are people who can be asked to provide referrals and reviews, championing their experience at your airport.
See Marketing Effectiveness at a Glance
Rezcomm’s CRM software includes workflow automation and email integration. These tools allow the airport to automate and track marketing emails. It is possible to see from user-friendly reports the effectiveness of each campaign, and the take-up from special offers and promotions, informing future marketing choices.
CRM software like that offered by Rezcomm gives an unparalleled opportunity to maximise revenue. By collecting email addresses from customers and data prospects, it is easy to engage people with targeted messages. Sales in the terminal will increase and customers will travel happy, having had a satisfying experience whilst in the airport, making them more likely to choose to travel from your airport again!
If you would like to speak to Rezcomm about our integrated travel and parking solutions or CRM and email management system, contact us today for demonstration.
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