Launch of Air France KLM's Connect Service
Launch of this new service from Air France KLM means that passengers can choose to be kept informed of delays, cancellations and other travel information straight to their smartphone. The airline is offering a range of mobile services including ticket purchase, mobile boarding passes and seat selection from its mobile website and also three smartphone apps. At Juniper we're forecasting that 1 in 7 boarding passes will be delivered by mobile by 2013. But actually of course, airlines (and other transport operators for that matter) are aiming to make their mobile services as useful as possible by adding features such as those mentioned above in respect of Air France KLM. After all, stating the obvious, there are two key aspects here. Firstly your smartphone is the easiest and fastest way of contacting you generally and you very nearly always have it with you. Secondly, the type of information being offered is not exactly new - after all the airline knows if the flight is delayed right?! And it knows which seats are available.....so it needs to channel the data into an app or mobile website. So what's behind this strategy? Well in my view it's similar to mobile network operators adding new services and features. The aim is to make their services as sticky as possible so that next time you want to book a flight, you'll have the airline app or website link saved as a favourite or downloaded, and you'll go there first because you had an all-told good experience. So...customer retention is the objective. But what after that? It's a short step to personal marketing. Increasingly it will be possible to develop user profiles of areas of interest amongst individual users which will allow more personalised offers to be sent, with a resulting greater likelihood of the user responding. All, of course, conducted on an opt-in basis. This again feeds into customer retention.