Influence Interactive Wrecking Ball - United Airlines

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Influence Interactive’s Wrecking Ball Assessment audits and deconstructs the United Airlines ticket buying process. See how we rate the United digital brand experience and learn why we think their user-centric approach has them on top online.

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Influence Interactive Wrecking Ball - United Airlines

  1. 1. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Wrecking Ball Assessment Released – January 2014 william.flaiz@influence-interactive.com | Office: 267-532-1295 www.influence-interactive.com
  2. 2. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Who is Influence Interactive… We Solve Business Problems with Digital Solutions We are a full service interactive solutions consulting firm that delivers big agency results without the baggage. No silos or big overhead, just smart people and experienced management. Our approach to business, marketing, and creative strategy is data informed. We believe in the power of measuring before building. This allows us to solve business problems with digital solutions, with ideas translated to the web, mobile, tablet, customer experience, and campaigns. william.flaiz@influence-interactive.com | Office: 267-532-1295 www.influence-interactive.com 2  
  3. 3. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Wrecking Ball? •  What  is  it?   –  A  heuris.c  quan.ta.ve  and  qualita.ve  assessment  of  a  real-­‐world  brand   experience  by  an  Influence  Interac.ve  team  member.  A  view  into  the  digital  and   analog  elements  of  a  brand  experience  through  the  eyes  of  real  customers  with   deep  marke.ng  backgrounds.   •  Why?   –  To  praise  brands  that  get  customer-­‐centric  experiences  right  and  give  free  expert   consul.ng  to  brands  that  create  digital  wrecks.  We’re  expressing  our  sen.ment  in   a  construc.ve  manner  on  the  digital  world  we  live  in  today,  that  everyone  can   learn  from.   •  How  does  it  work?   –  We  conduct  an  external  assessment  of  a  digital  brand  experience  and  rate  it   based  on  level  of  brand  love.  We  look  at  5  primary  dimensions  in  conduc.ng  the   assessment  and  give  a  ra.ng  of  the  overall  experience.     3  
  4. 4. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Guidelines for Rating the Brand Experience The  primary  factors  we  use  when  reviewing  a  brand  experience:   Findability   User  Experience   Content   Connectedness   Behind  the  Scenes   Paid  Search   SEO   Local  Search   Social   Direct   Word  of  Mouth   Experience  Flow   Site  Func.onality   Cross  Device  &  Channel   History  with  the  Brand     Value  Exchange   Communica.on   Relevancy   Level  of  Detail   Authority   Freshness   Accuracy   Connec.on  Points   Back  Links   Social  Reach   Brand  Response   Technology  in  Place   Analy.cs   Business  Prac.ces   CRM  &  Marke.ng  Automa.on   Experience  Funnel   Market  Posi.on   1.  Findability   –  Where  did  the  brand  experience  start  and  what  are  the  pathways  available  for  engagement   2.  User  Experience   –  How  does  the  experience  flow  from  start  to  finish  across  digital  and  offline  channels  and  pathways   and  what  has  the  historical  experience  been  with  the  brand  both  on  and  offline   3.  Content   –  How  does  the  brand,  media,  and/or  user  generated  content  guide  and  effect  the  overall  experience   4.  Connectedness   –  How  cohesive  and  responsive  is  the  experience  across  the  brand  ecosystem     5.  Behind  the  Scenes   –  A  non-­‐intrusive  look  at  the  detectable  technology,  funnel  pathway,  analy.cs,  and  architecture  that   make  up  the  inner  workings  of  the  experience   4  
  5. 5. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Wrecking Ball Assessment Buying a Ticket to Boarding the Plane 5  
  6. 6. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Introduction – United Airlines I  have  created  and  led  teams  of  agency  professionals  in  crea.ve,  user  experience,  analy.cs,  and   CRM,  mostly  on  a  global  scale.    My  career  has  been  centered  around  developing  strategies  for   clients  that  help  them  best  connect  with  their  customers.    During  this  .me,  I  have  had  to  fly  a  lot,   over  300,000  miles  over  the  last  3  years  alone.    Ease  of  booking,  checking  in,  boarding  passes,  and   rewards  programs  are  important  to  me.    I  have  flown  quite  a  few  airlines  during  this  .me,  but  there   is  one  that  stands  out  for  providing  an  excep.onal  experience  from  .cket  purchase  through   boarding:  United  Airlines.    Now  they  don’t  always  provide  the  best  experience  on  the  plane  and   they  s.ll  lack  Wi-­‐Fi  on  many  of  their  flights,  but  everything  prior  to  the  flight  is  excellent,  and  that  is   what  we  are  here  to  evaluate.     It  is  not  enough  anymore  for  an  airline  to  provide  travelers  the  ability  to  purchase  .ckets  online,   they  need  to  service  the  online  age  through  .cke.ng,  flight  delays,  paperless  boarding  passes,  and   rewards  programs  that  are  easy  to  access  and  understand,  and  most  importantly  are  centered   around  the  traveler.     6  
  7. 7. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Start with Google Started  searching   with  origin  &   des.na.on  in  query.   United  is  the  only   airline  in  the  paid   search  results  on   the  first  page.       Use  of  the   des.na.on  in  the   .tle  &  descrip.on  is   good  reinforcement   for  the  searcher.   Organic  Search  Results     #10  Virgin  America   (press  releases)     #16  Fron.er  Airlines     #36  Hawaiian  Airlines     #39  Air  France   (for  PDX  -­‐>  Paris)     #41  United  Airlines     The  rest  of  the  results  are   dominated  by  aggregators   for  cheap  flights  and   travel.     Organic  search  is  a  missed   opportunity  for  all  of  the   airlines.   7  
  8. 8. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Paid Search Landing Page Indicator  of  where  I  am   in  the  purchase   process  and  what  steps   I  s.ll  need  to   complete-­‐  good  user   experience.   Reinforcement  of   my  search  query-­‐ good  user   experience.   Third  Click   Second  Click   Calendar  with  fares   allows  me  to  quickly   evaluate  prices  in   case  my  travel  dates   are  flexible.   Immediately  shows  me  the  lowest  price  fare   without  having  to  search,  and  I  can  quickly   enter  my  dates.   8  
  9. 9. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Select Departing Flight Again,  reinforcement  of  search   query-­‐  good  user  experience.   Empty  space  is  a  missed   opportunity  for  a  beier   page  layout,  or  upsell  offers.   I  can  quickly  scan  the  best  fare  for   my  trip  before  scrolling  through  the   list  to  select  my  flight.   9  
  10. 10. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Select Departing Flight Good  use  of  space  in  layout-­‐  I  can  quickly  see  the  fare  (and  know   if  it  is  the  lowest  or  not),  each  leg  of  the  journey,  layover  .me,   total  travel  .me,  aircral  type,  and  whether  or  not  snacks  are   available  for  purchase,  all  of  which  are  easy  to  quickly  scan  for   details  about  my  flight.   10  
  11. 11. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Select Returning Flight Clear  .tle  of  where  I   am  and  what  I  need   to  do-­‐  good  user   guidance.   Informa.on  on  des.na.ons   and  .ming  for  my  trip,   posi.ve  reinforcement  for   the  user.   11  
  12. 12. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Select Returning Flight Layout  and  experience  are  the  same  as   selec.ng  a  depar.ng  flight  so  I  don’t  need   to  learn  something  new.   12  
  13. 13. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Review Trip Itinerary   Poor  layout-­‐  this  is  prime  real  estate.   Both  upsell  op.ons  are  non-­‐intrusive  to  the   experience  and  are  clear  and  easy  to  understand.   13  
  14. 14. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Review Trip Itinerary Layout  and  informa.on  for  my  flights  is  the   same  as  when  I  chose  them,  therefore  not   making  me  learn  something  new  and   keeping  the  overall  experience  consistent.   14  
  15. 15. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Review Trip Itinerary Op.ons:  I  like  having  the   op.on  to  either   purchase  or  lock  in  my   fare  for  a  nominal  fee.   I  can  enter  my  rewards  program   informa.on  here.  This  seems  a  liile  out  of   place,  but  if  I  fill  it  in,  it  will  auto  populate   the  traveler  informa.on  for  me  on  the  next   screen.   Clearly  states  where  I  am  going  to  next  and     what  to  expect,  or  provides  me  the  op.on  to     go  “Back”  at  a  point  where  I  may  want  to     change  my  op.ons.   15  
  16. 16. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Traveler Information If  you  are  a  member  of  their   frequent  flyer  program,  and  you   have  logged  in,  this  informa.on   auto-­‐populates  for  you.   16  
  17. 17. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Traveler Information Clearly  states   where  I  am  going   next  and  what  to   expect,  or   provides  me  the   op.on  to  go   “Back”  at  a  point   where  I  may  want   to  change  my   op.ons.   Many  websites   offer  a  chat   feature  these   days,  but  I  like   that  I  haven’t   been  bombarded   with  it  and  I  am   just  seeing  it  now.   I  paused  on  this   page  for  several   minutes  before   this  op.on  was   offered  to  me.   17  
  18. 18. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Seat Map Easy  to  understand   legend  for  the  color   coding  and   indicators,  also  the   loca.on  is  within   close  proximity  to   my  seat  choices  so  I   don’t  have  to  look   for  it.   This  tabbed   layout  indicates   to  me  that  I  will   be  able  to  choose   seats  for  each  leg   of  my  trip,  and  as   I  go  through  each   segment,  the   experience   remains   consistent.   I  can  quickly  tab  between   the  different  seat  classes   and  compare  features.   18  
  19. 19. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Payment Information – Flight Review One  more  opportunity  to  review  my  flights   before  purchasing,  in  the  same  format  and   informa.on  I  have  seen  before,  so  it’s  a   good  consistent  experience.   19  
  20. 20. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Payment Information – The Upsell The  upsell  again,  why  weren’t  these  op.ons  offered  to  me   earlier  when  I  was  reviewing  my  fare?    I  think  this  is  poor   .ming  for  these  as  I  have  reviewed  my  fares  and  I  am  ready   to  purchase,  but  now  I  need  to  figure  out  these  offers.   20  
  21. 21. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Payment Information Terms  and  condi.ons:  everyone  has  to  have   them,  but  United  keeps  them  short  and   easy  to  scan  and  understand,  also  providing   links  for  more  informa.on  on  each  of  them.   Clearly  states  what  the  traveler  can  do  and   doesn’t  complicate  maiers.   -­‐  Pur k  16   Clic cket   ed  Ti chas 21  
  22. 22. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Email Communications Receipt  &  I.nerary   Check-­‐in  Reminder   Once  I  have  purchased  my  .cket,  I   am  provided  an  i.nerary  and   receipt  almost  immediately.   24  hours  prior  to  my  flight,  I  receive  a   reminder  that  I  can  check-­‐in  for  the   flight,  “Check  in  Now”  call  to  ac.on.   Boarding  Pass   Once  I  check-­‐in,  I  have  the   choice  of  having  my  boarding   pass  emailed  to  me  for  prin.ng.   Now  I  am  ready  to  go,  except  there  is   a  flight  delay.  An  email  from  United   makes  me  aware  of  this,  in  this  case,   hours  before  the  flight.   Flight  Delay  No.fica.on   22  
  23. 23. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Mobile Experience The experience with United does not end with the website, they also offer one of the best mobile apps I have ever used. Information is clearly available and the pieces of information that are important to me are readily available on the opening screen. I have several airline apps on my phone, but United has listened to their travelers and provide me with the information I need easily. Mobile   Boarding   Pass   Travel   informa.on,  seat   assignment,   weather,  etc.   Flight   Status   My  Reserva.ons   Once  logged   in,  easy  to   find  what  is   important  to   me  about   my  account.   Quickly  find   what  is   important  to   a  busy   traveler.   23  
  24. 24. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Wrecking  Ball  Assessment   The  Results  and  Ra.ng   24  
  25. 25. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines United – Customer-Centric United  has  embraced  a  novel  idea-­‐   design  your  processes  to  fit  how   your  customers  think,  integrate   your  channels,  and  deliver  needed   informa.on  when  the  customer   needs  it.     Because  their  digital  channels  work   so  well  together,  the  informa.on  is   synced  across  all  channels,  and  the   experience  up  to  boarding  is   pleasurable.         Now,  it  is  unfortunate  that  the   same  experience  doesn’t  carry  over   to  the  flight  itself,  there  United   could  learn  a  thing  (or  two  or  three)   from  Virgin  America.   25  
  26. 26. United Airlines – Experience In Summary Wrecking Ball: United Airlines A  Customer-­‐   United  Plane  Ticket  Purchase  Process  By  The  Numbers     41st  –  Natural  search  result,  the  Siberia  of  search  results.     2nd  –  Posi.on  in  the  paid  search  ads  which  led  to  my  click.     1  –  The  only  airline  present  in  the  search  results  on  the  first  page  to  buy  a  plane  .cket.     16  –  Number  of  clicks  it  took  to  purchase  a  round-­‐trip  plane  .cket,  no  extraneous  clicks.     1  –  Number  of  taps  it  takes  me  to  find  the  informa.on  I  am  looking  for  on  the  United  mobile  app.     2  –  Number  of  .mes  United  tried  to  upsell  me.       350,000+  -­‐  Number  of  miles  I  have  flown  with  United  in  my  life.me.     100s  –  The  number  of  people  I  have  told  they  should  fly  United  and  book  on  their  website  or  through  their  app.     0  –  The  number  of  .mes  I  wasn’t  sure  what  to  do  next  in  the  purchase  process.     Immeasurable  –  The  amount  of  revenue  I  drive  through  my  being  a  brand  advocate.   26  
  27. 27. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Brand Experience Rating Wrecking Ball Rating – Love United Wrecking Ball Rating System: Love Like Leaving Lost The United Brand Rating: Love Based  on  all  of  my  flying  experience,  from  booking  to  entering  the  plane,   I  will  con.nue  to  use  United  as  my  preferred  airline,  and  recommend   them  to  friends  and  colleagues.     United  has  definitely  invested  .me  into  their  experience  of  bringing   customers  onboard  as  exhibited  by  a  flyer-­‐centric  experience  on  the  web   and  mobile.    They  make  it  easy  for  the  novice,  and  provide  all  the  tools  a   frequent  flyer  relies  on  for  a  great  experience.     Findability User Experience Content Post Purchase Poor – organic, lots of opportunity Excellent overall – user centered Very Good – appropriate content at the appropriate time Very Good – connected systems -  Good job supplementing poor organic results with paid search -  Purchase process is simple and easy to use -  Post purchase ticket communication is very good -  Mobile experience is very good -  Supplemental content is available and not intrusive -  Consistent information across platforms - Web experience is tied into email communications with a logical flow of information - Mobile experience is very good, consistent with web experience 27  
  28. 28. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Closing Thoughts – Future of Air Travel •  What  should  United  do  next?   –  United  needs  to  apply  their  customer-­‐centric  thinking  to  their  in-­‐airport  and   plane  experiences.    If  they  can  do  this,  they  cannot  lose.    If  they  don’t,  they   will  be  passed  by  other  airlines  such  as  Virgin  America  who  have  focused  on   the  in-­‐airport  and  plane  experience,  and  geqng  the  digital  channels  inline  is   easier.   –  United  needs  to  address  its  organic  search  deficiencies-­‐  travel  is  a  crowded   and  compe..ve  industry  for  organic  search,  but  they  need  to  be  found  in   order  to  increase  sales.   •  What  is  the  future  of  air  travel?   –  Airlines  are  going  to  have  to  be  able  to  .e  together  all  of  their  touch  points   into  a  single  user-­‐centric  experience.    Performing  well  in  just  one  aspect  of  the   flying  experience  is  not  going  to  be  enough,  the  pre-­‐flight  and  in-­‐flight   experiences  will  need  to  be  .ghtly  aligned  and  centered  around  the  traveler.       28  
  29. 29. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines APPENDIX 29  
  30. 30. Wrecking Ball: United Airlines Purchase/Booking by device Air  Travel:   11%   Air  Travel:   9%   30  
  31. 31. References Wrecking Ball: United Airlines 31  
  32. 32. Travel Sales and Mobile Booking Wrecking Ball: United Airlines 32  
  33. 33. Most Used Brands Wrecking Ball: United Airlines 33   hip://www.tnooz.com/wp-­‐content/uploads/2013/04/mobiquity-­‐FULL.jpg  
  34. 34. Research to Booking Wrecking Ball: United Airlines 34   hip://www.tnooz.com/wp-­‐content/uploads/2013/04/mobiquity-­‐FULL.jpg  
  35. 35. Poor Mobile Experience Wrecking Ball: United Airlines 35   hip://www.tnooz.com/wp-­‐content/uploads/2013/04/mobiquity-­‐FULL.jpg  
  36. 36. Online Ad Spend Wrecking Ball: United Airlines 36  

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