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Automation - The Future of Air Passenger Claims Handling

More satisfied customers, better quality, greater efficiency and lower claims-processing costs.

Manual claims handling is not only time consuming and costly, but also an error prone process. The advantages of automation are substantial: more satisfied customers, better quality, greater efficiency and lower claims-processing costs.

The speed and convenience with which claims are settled have a long bearing on the reputation of a company. Customer-oriented companies like Apple have early recognized the value of customer satisfaction and brand-loyalty. Even the best experience when booking a flight and the best service on board an aircraft will be forgotten if the customer faces a poor customer complaint service after a flight delay or cancellation.

In less than 10 years digital natives will make up nearly half of the adult population. They grow up using artificial intelligence and chatbots, understand the Internet of Things and they do expect these technologies to be available throughout their travel experiences. Seamless, omni-channel, real-time interactions will be key to capture their attention and to meet their standards. The importance of a good digital customer experience cannot be overemphasized at this stage.

Moreover, the manual claims handling process often leads to errors, misaligned records and inconsistent service delivery. Automation on the other hand offers the possibility to lower operating costs drastically, especially for clear-cut cases. The quality will at the same time be enhanced as repetitive and monotonous tasks can be offloaded. Automated checks can avoid double payments, check the applicability of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, calculate compensation amounts with regard to the length of the passenger‘s route, calculate reductions etc.

Minimizing the processing time per claim, increases staff efficiency and avoids the need for temporary staff or external service providers, especially during peak seasons. It also frees up time and ensures that experienced customer service agents can be dedicated to higher value tasks and more complex processes. In return the job profile of a customer service agent becomes much more attractive.

Technology will continue to evolve at rapid pace. Standing still is not an option, but a surefire recipe for falling behind the competition. Adding functionality to existing, decades-old legacy platforms is costly and time-consuming for airlines. Investing further in clunky CRM systems that are not tailor-made for passenger claims handling processes will not allow for the high degree of automation that is required to handle claims in a cost effective manner.

The airline industry is a highly competitive sector. Cost reduction and enhanced digital customer experience will be essential to stay ahead of competitors.


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