British Airways’ (BA) customers in Ghana rate their personal comfort and convenience as the most important reasons for choosing an airline. Passengers also expect the same standards in excellence from their airline, whether they are in an office buying a ticket, on board the aircraft ordering a meal.
BA conducted a survey of its customers last May to ask what really matters to them when flying, and how they felt about its products and services in Ghana. Two-thirds of the surveyed passengers said that they prefer to arrive at the airport well in advance of their flights so they would not need to rush through pre-departure formalities. Most of these respondents also said they spend their time resting or relaxing at the boarding gate or airport lounge before getting on board.
‘We found that this may be as a result of the unpredictable traffic patterns in Accra, and the fact that passengers often have to spend time in queues to check-in to their flights,’ explains Moran Birger, Commercial Manager of British Airways in Ghana.
Birger however said: ‘We can’t yet fix the traffic problems, unfortunately, but the good news is that we have invested over the years in very important products that make the check-in process smoother and quicker for passengers. We have the ba.com website, which can also be accessed on any smart phone, the BA mobile app which can be downloaded for free on all the popular mobile platforms, and also self-service kiosks at the airport.’
Passengers also felt that they deserved the best in customer service, both at check-in and onboard the aircraft. Birger said that this insight informed part of the airline’s £5bn investment into new products and services, part of which includes providing thousands of iPads to senior cabin crew.
‘The iPad enables our crew to offer better customer service as it provides real-time insight into our customers’ preferences across a whole range of areas, from special meal requests to onward travel plans, enabling us to deliver a truly bespoke service,’ says Birger.
The iPad, which is equipped with British Airways-developed apps, provides up to the minute passenger information, which means customers are given a much more personalised service than ever before.
Cabin crew are also able to identify where each customer is seated, who they are travelling with, their Executive Club status and other important information such as flight timetables, safety manuals and customer service updates. Also, if any customer service issues arise in the air, these can immediately be followed up by ground-based colleagues as soon as the aircraft lands and the iPad reconnects to the network.
‘We have been operating to Ghana for over 75 years, and from the feedback we have received, we are one of the most popular airlines in the country,’ says Moran Birger. ‘Part of the reason for this is we recognise that our customers are at the heart of what we do and so we try to keep in touch with what their needs are.’
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