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What drives customer Advocacy in the airlines sector?

Leading up to the holiday season, airlines will seek to differentiate themselves through offers, promotions, prices and in-flight experience. But increasingly customers are looking to their fellow passengers for advice on which airline to choose to take them where they need to go.

So which issues are leading passengers to become loyal customers of some airlines while vowing never to fly others again?

alva’s Social Media Advocacy analysis has allowed clients in various sectors to understand which issues drive Advocacy directly from consumers. Advocacy is defined as consumer content with a strong emotional response to a certain company, often encouraging or discouraging others from using the company’s products or services.

The key findings from alva’s analysis were:

  • “Outstanding” customer service and extra perks lead passengers to become Advocates. On the other hand, flight delays are the biggest driver of Active Criticism in the airline sector, in particular when paired with a lack of communication from staff and crew.
  • Budget airlines garnered the most Active Advocacy and Criticism
  • Operational matters aside, airlines that want to drum up Advocacy from customers should focus on communicating clearly with passengers and offering customer service and amenities that go the extra (air) mile.

To measure Advocacy for the airline sector, alva analysed three months of content from five airline companies, limiting content to social media mentions stemming directly from consumers. From this, we calculated a daily advocacy score and identified the issues generating the most Active Advocacy and Active Criticism across the sector.

aviation_blog_graphic

 

In general, airlines are expected to get the basics right – and unless they go above and beyond the call of duty, on-time flights, polite staff and clean aircraft do not translate into Advocacy. It is “outstanding” customer service and extra perks that lead passengers to become Advocates. On the other hand, flight delays are the biggest driver of Active Criticism in the airline sector, in particular when paired with a lack of communication from staff and crew.

Budget airlines like easyJet garnered the most Active Advocacy and Criticism – perhaps because their no-frills attitude appeals to a social media and tech-savvy generation or perhaps because passengers expect these airlines to get the basics right, if that’s what they’re paying for.

Operational matters aside, airlines that want to drum up Advocacy from customers should focus on communicating clearly with passengers and offering customer service and amenities that go the extra (air) mile.

 

This blog post is an extract from a fuller study of the drivers of Advocacy in the Aviation sector. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this or any of alva’s reputation intelligence services in more detail.

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