The main goal in the airline business is making customers happy. Airlines always try to offer better services than their rivals. A professor from the University of Missouri used artificial intelligence (AI) to study customer reviews and find out what airlines need to improve.
Professor Sharan Srinivas checked about 400,000 customer reviews for six US airlines. He created AI tools to find the main topics in the reviews and how customers felt about them. This can help airlines learn what their customers like and don’t like.
Most negative comments were about lost luggage, uncomfortable seats, and canceled flights. Positive feedback was about in-flight entertainment, staff service, and first-class and business-class seating.
Srinivas offered 11 suggestions to make customers happier:
1. Make seating more comfortable with flexible arrangements.
2. Automatically clean plane bathrooms.
3. Redesign overhead baggage storage.
4. Personalize the cabin by adjusting seat height and temperature.
5. Use data to improve flight schedules and times between flights.
6. Use AI to monitor airplane equipment.
7. Make booking policies more flexible, like no cancellation charges and clear information about costs.
8. Give ticketing agents better instructions, feedback, and encouragement to improve customer interactions.
9. Track luggage more accurately with RFID tags instead of barcodes.
10. Send automatic luggage updates to passengers’ phones more often.
11. Use biometrics and blockchain technology to make ID checks easier and faster.
Srinivas said airlines can use these suggestions to plan their future actions.
He explained that the goal is to help airlines understand what customers think. The AI tools can help airlines see things from the customer’s point of view.
Srinivas started this research after a United Airlines incident in 2017. A passenger was forcibly removed from an overbooked flight, and there was a lot of angry feedback. The AI software can help airlines like United Airlines quickly sort through customer feedback and fix problems.
Srinivas added that knowing your customers is very important for improving air travel. Customers can give the best advice on what needs to be better.
He has used AI to study customer satisfaction in other areas, like insurance, adaptive clothing, and colleges. AI can even be used to understand doctors’ notes and patient reviews.
Here are some ideas from this that can be borrowed and applied in different contexts:
1. Analyzing customer feedback: Borrowing the concept of analyzing customer feedback using AI can help businesses in various industries understand their customers’ needs and preferences. For example, a restaurant chain can use AI to analyze customer reviews on food delivery platforms to identify trends in customer preferences, quality concerns, and service issues (Citation: Srinivas, Sharan. “AI-based Analysis of Customer Reviews in the Airline Industry”).
2. Flexible arrangements: Adopting flexible arrangements can be useful in different industries. For instance, hotels or co-working spaces can offer flexible booking options to adapt to customers’ changing schedules and requirements (Citation: Srinivas, Sharan. “11 Recommendations to Improve the Customer Experience”).
3. Personalization: The idea of personalizing customer experiences can be applied in various sectors. Retail businesses, for example, can use AI to analyze customer behavior and preferences, tailoring product recommendations and promotions accordingly (Citation: Srinivas, Sharan. “Personalized Cabin Environment”).
4. Using data for optimization: Optimizing processes using data can benefit many industries. In logistics and supply chain management, companies can use data analytics to optimize delivery routes, minimizing costs and environmental impact (Citation: Srinivas, Sharan. “Analytical Models to Optimize Flight Schedules”).
5. Employee encouragement and feedback: Improving employee morale and performance through clear instructions, feedback, and encouragement can be applied across various sectors. A customer support center, for example, can use this approach to enhance employee motivation and interactions with customers (Citation: Srinivas, Sharan. “Ticketing Agents Performance-based Feedback and Social Praise”).
6. Technology for efficiency: Integrating technology to streamline processes and improve efficiency can be helpful in many industries. In healthcare, adopting electronic health records and using AI to interpret doctors’ notes can enhance patient care and reduce the risk of errors (Citation: Srinivas, Sharan. “AI Interpretation of Doctor’s Notes and Patient Reviews”).
By borrowing these ideas and applying them in different contexts, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, optimize operations, and enhance overall efficiency.