As air travel starts to recover post COVID-19, the future for the industry looks very different from pre-pandemic predictions. With uncertain passenger volumes and the lucrative business travel sector recovering much slower than leisure travel, companies must reevaluate their business models.
The global market for business travel is not expected to recover until 2027
Source: ReportLinker, 2020
Achieving a competitive advantage calls for airlines to optimize operations for leisure travel ahead of business travel recovery. This means offering a superior customer experience while keeping costs low.
Technology will play a key role. Scandit Smart Data Capture is one affordable, easy-to-implement technology platform that enables enterprises to use smart devices to add speed and intelligence to a range of operational processes. At the same time, future-proofing against further turbulence or new passenger needs ahead.
This guide explores how you can enable smart data capture in employee mobile apps to:
- Gain competitive advantage by creating hassle-free, convenient and personalized travel experiences
- Transform workflows and reduce operational costs through mobile agents and self-service options
- Future-proof operations with a cost-effective, flexible solution
- Ensure unmatched speed, accuracy and intelligence across critical workflows
1. Focus on customer experience to gain competitive advantage
Ever-changing travel restrictions have dominated and challenged air travel operators in recent times. Adhering to travel restrictions and passenger safety is now a well-honed skill.
The new focus is on how to differentiate and win the hearts and minds of leisure customers through better travel experiences, for example, by reducing queuing times and offering more personalized services that leave your competition grounded.
On average, each US airline is leaving as much as $1.4 billion in annual revenue on the table by not making improvements to their customer experience (CX).
Source: Forrester Research
One innovative technology solution to achieve better passenger service is Scandit Smart Data Capture on smart devices. It automates, updates and mobilizes processes to give a more sleek, modern impression compared with rugged devices at fixed stations.
Create customer service superheroes
A Scandit-powered mobile device turns customer service agents into superheroes, with the power to create a hassle-free passenger experience by:
- Checking-in passengers anywhere within the check-in area by scanning passenger IDs, booking QR codes or passports.
- Offering immediate assistance anywhere in the airport by simply scanning boarding passes. Scandit’s augmented reality functionality delivers real-time information directly to an employee’s device screen, enabling them to help with flight information like delays, connected flights, and departure details.
- Checking oversized luggage for passengers at the gate using their smart device as a scanner.
- Issuing customer vouchers (e.g. for delays) instantly by scanning the passenger’s boarding pass.
Any employee can handle all of these tasks with the same device that easily fits in their pocket, anywhere, anytime.
Give every customer VIP treatment
Everyone loves the personal touch. Scandit Smart Data Capture technology enables travel companies to offer a truly personalized customer experience, which increases the opportunity for up-sells.
Air travel operators can personalize services by accessing information from scanning a passenger’s boarding pass, ID, or passport – whether offering a passenger their preferred beverage in the airport lounge, managing flight requests such as a seat change or offering customized upsells like flight upgrades and inflight food offers.
Smart data capture also delivers actionable operational insights. With every scan, data is captured against a customer ID or passport, recording details that can be used to elevate future service, for example, their purchasing history in duty-free. Real-time data insights help to drive service improvements, such as planning staffing during peak times.
Creating personalized services effectively requires reliable scanning performance. Every employee needs the assurance that any scan of a boarding pass, ID, or passport will work the first time, every time to avoid customer friction. Equally, having an AR-overlay makes it simple for them to see, at a glance, important information such as the latest flight details, for example, when the flight is boarding and from which gate.
Customer story: Scandinavian Airlines delivered superior customer service with a Scandit-Powered App
Scandinavian Airlines reduced costs while improving customer experience by replacing expensive, dedicated scanners with a Scandit-powered, smartphone app.
Using a single mobile app, customer service agents can provide highly personalized experiences for passengers, such as mobile boarding at the gate with no need to queue or seamless bookings and seat changes.
“Mobile devices serve our digital strategy to create more efficient processes. Our operating staff deliver superior customer service by scanning boarding passes, passports, luggage packages, and coupons with Scandit-powered mobile devices instead of traditional scanner devices.” Sören Fredriksson, IT Project Manager, SAS.
2. Use mobile agents and self-service options to reduce operational costs
The financial impact of COVID-19 was challenging for the travel industry. As companies rebound and passenger numbers recover, air travel operators are looking at reducing costs. Having cost-effective technology solutions to streamline operations and enhance efficiency is becoming increasingly essential.
Go mobile to reduce hardware costs
Replacing inflexible, expensive stationary scanners and kiosks with multi-functional smart data capture on lower-cost smart devices is a simple way to reduce hardware costs.
The use of Scandit-enabled smart devices as scanners is typically between 35% and 50% of the TCO (total cost of ownership) of fixed dedicated scanners. And as well as reducing hardware costs, it saves on the cost of sanitizing stationary scanners.
Save up to 50% on Total Cost of Ownership with Scandit’s Smart Data Capture solutions.
Smarter operations, one device
A Scandit-powered smart device supports smoother passenger transit throughout the airport. By using one device to perform multiple tasks, customer service agents can work much more efficiently – something stationary scanners or dedicated hardware scanner devices can’t match. Here’s how:
- Faster check-in and boarding processes eliminate queuing, while agents can resolve customer inquiries and requests quicker with instant access to appropriate real-time information from scanning boarding passes, IDs, or passports. Devices can also be used as mobile Points of Sale that keep track of products sold, eliminating the need for additional scanners.
- Managing access to airport lounges is more efficient with access controlled by scanning customer documentation, while a single scan will rapidly confirm the validity of a passenger’s ticket.
- Lost luggage is located faster in the baggage service office – Scandit’s MatrixScan and augmented reality feedback feature allows employees to scan multiple items and quickly pinpoint lost luggage.
Empower customers to reduce costs further
Enabling willing customers with options to self-serve will increase cost efficiencies. With a customer self-service app, passengers can check-in online, confirm COVID certification or vaccine status, and check-in their luggage using their own smart device. It’s simple to integrate Scandit’s data capture and ID scanning capabilities into existing customer mobile apps or websites.
With passengers managing their own check-in activities, the reliance on expensive, stationary equipment and staff numbers per passenger is reduced, and waits, crowds, and queues on arrival at the airport are minimized too. This makes it a win-win for boosting customer experience and cost-effectiveness.
Check out our infographic on how airlines can deliver a safe, smooth and satisfying journey in today’s turbulent environment.
3. Focus on flexibility to handle the unpredictability of travel restrictions
The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of future-proofing air travel operations. And with unpredictable passenger numbers and the risk of sudden changes in travel rules, a flexible, scalable and cost-effective solution is essential.
Any technology solution needs to be future-proofed to handle fluctuating passenger volumes and new operational demands while minimizing any negative impact on the customer experience during unexpected peaks. Automating workflows while empowering employees and customers to do more with a simple-to-use and intuitive mobile tool is a new travel essential.
Scandit helps businesses to achieve this while enabling innovations that improve customer experiences at the same time.
Scalable capacity on demand
Every employee with a smart device can be employed as a mobile agent, so customer service capacity isn’t limited by stationary check-in and boarding equipment. Instead, it can be rapidly scaled up to handle anything from fluctuations in passenger volumes to last-minute gate changes or even to provide backup for issues with stationary scanners.
It eliminates the need to have additional expensive stationary equipment that is often unneeded to handle fluctuating and unpredictable passenger numbers.
Mobile agents can also reduce congestion and passenger buildup at peak times.
A flexible workforce ready-to-go
Scandit-powered employee apps on smart devices make onboarding easy, with an intuitive user experience on familiar mobile devices. Using a single device allows agents to carry out multiple tasks and switch between them seamlessly.
And the user experience can be enhanced with intuitive functionality – such as tap to scan, select a barcode, or AR instructions overlaid on screen. It makes capturing data effortless, enabling air travel businesses to easily onboard new staff or rapidly re-deploy existing resources during known and unplanned peaks.
Customer story: How Alaska Airlines modernized boarding with mobile ID scanning
Working with Scandit, Alaska Airlines replaced costly gate hardware with high-performance mobile scanning. Their new mobile app freed up agents to provide hassle-free boarding and complete customer service workflows much more efficiently.
“Enabling our agents to be mobile, frees them from being tied to hardware and allows us to reimagine the boarding experience without the usual podiums. If we need to change gates, we can just walk over with our iPads. If there is a guest that needs special assistance before boarding, we can provide customer service beside them instead of having them come to the podium.” Francis Brown, Product Manager at Alaska Airlines
4. Performance and adoption considerations for a seamless A to B experience
Addressing the challenges facing the air travel industry calls for reliable, effective, and future-proof technology solutions that can be deployed without disruption today.
Scandit Smart Data Capture platform delivers speed, accuracy and intelligence to enable a safe, smooth and convenient experience for customers and employees. It combines high-performance scanning of all types of code, ID scanning and augmented reality into a single proven solution that can be easily integrated into any environment, including native and mobile apps.
Reliable performance across a wide range of workflows
Scandit optimizes data capture for specific workflows and improves user experience. It offers unmatched scanning speed and accuracy at a distance, under challenging conditions such as poorly (self-)printed luggage tags/tickets and e-tickets presented on devices with cracked screens or when there is glare or reflections.
It captures data from any code – including Aztec codes on digital boarding passes to PDF147 on printed ones to Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD) and ePassports with RFID.
Plus, it works on over 20,000 models of smart devices, ensuring different devices deployed to employee or even low-cost passenger smartphones are capable of high-quality scanning.
Resilient in harsh conditions
Smart devices can be ruggedized with cases, for example, to minimize breakage in the toughest of environments. When workers are given a device for their personal use, through a COPE (Corporate-Owned Personally Enabled) device strategy, they are more likely to take care of it and be more motivated through its familiarity.
Scandit’s technology is already bringing innovation to customers, with ID scanning and augmented reality enhancing user experiences every day. Having the ability to collect real-time operational data gives operators actionable insight to make informed decisions and help improve passenger services.
For example, operational data like passenger check-ins can be collected through the scan’s timestamp and can support plan staffing requirements. Scanning a passenger’s boarding card could record a beverage preference to inform future personalized coupons. AR-overlays can share this insight with employees.
Integrate Scandit into any IT environment
It’s quick and straightforward to add smart data capture into your existing IT infrastructure, including native and web apps, with or without integration.
Our software works on various operating systems, frameworks and 3rd party systems, plus we offer specialist technical support during development and live service.
Talk to us about how Scandit Smart Data Capture platform can help you cut costs and improve passenger experiences through safe and smooth airport processes, omnipresent and real-time information, and customer-tailored services despite fluctuating and unpredictable passenger volumes.