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Adapting to shifts in the airline digital traveler journey with United.

April 29, 2022 By: Tom Arundel

Ready to fly the digital friendly skies? 

United Airlines is leveraging insights from Quantum Metric to welcome passengers as the airline boosts their digital experience by making it more customer-centric than ever.

At our annual user conference, Quantum LEAP 2022, Jack Meyers, Solutions Engineer at Quantum Metric, met with Mike Skoda, Senior Manager of Digital Insights at United, to discuss how the airline has addressed the recent evolution of the digital travel experience. More specifically, they spoke about how United leverages Quantum Metric to continuously tailor the digital journey to meet traveler needs.

With Quantum Metric, United is trying to understand how passengers navigate through the mobile app and website in order to find new and innovative ways to improve the experience for when customers “come back,” Skoda explained. 

Rebuilding confidence in air travel.

“The past two years have really forced travel brands to adapt to the changes that come with living and doing business during a pandemic,” according to Meyers. “So the question is, How does this change the type of experiences that you and United as a brand look to provide your travelers?”

United aims to provide a seamless experience, especially with domestic and international rules changing daily. At one point, if you wanted to go to Hawaii in 2020, you needed to be quarantined for 2 weeks unless you provided a negative Covid-19 test. 

In response to the changes brought on by the pandemic, United’s digital team became the first airline to build a Travel Ready Center, a “one-stop shop for your destination.” The Travel Ready Center lists specific requirements for traveling to a particular destination, such as needing to provide a negative PCR test or proof of Covid-19 vaccination. 

The Travel Ready Center by United Airlines showing different workflows

For customers that need to provide this information to the airlines, United now offers the opportunity to upload required documents. This way, “you get all this taken care of before you get to the airport.”

For international travel this is especially important, given that rules can change daily, depending on a country’s environment. 

The rise of travel credits.

Travel credits weren’t really top of mind before 2020,” Skoda explained. 

When the pandemic struck, people were forced to cancel travel plans. Some countries closed their borders. Some passengers came down with Covid-19 and were forced to quarantine. 

With so many flights canceled in the past two years, United has made it easier for customers to get travel credits for canceled flights, as well as redeem travel credit for new bookings. 

The future of business travel.

As business travel returns, United is prioritizing improvements for making the corporate travel digital experience easier, so that people can manage their business accounts or business trips. 

By improving features now, United will better be able to scale the improved customer experience as business travel returns to pre-Covid-19 levels.

How Quantum Metric helped United adapt to changing needs.

United measures the success of their digital platforms by tracking customer effort scores, NPS scores, and monitoring other forms of customer feedback. United’s number one goal is to make sure that the customer experience is enjoyable and easy to use, and that new products are tied to customer feedback.

If something goes wrong, United can leverage session replay to understand what actually happened to the customer. They can also search for customer comments/feedback “directly in Quantum Metric… to understand not just what the customers are saying, but why they’re saying it.” 

With Quantum Metric, United was “able to understand how often customers were successfully uploading Covid-19 documents,” according to Skoda. The platform also provided insight into the front and back-end experiences.

Democratizing insights across the organization. 

Initially, United onboarded Quantum Metric to better understand customer behavior through session replay and performance monitoring. When word got out internally that teammates were able to get certain actionable insights in Quantum Metric, Skoda “started getting requests from teams that [he] did not even know necessarily existed at United” to see if they could get onboarded with Quantum. 

Now Quantum Metric is running on more than 10 internal United applications. 

Testing new features with Optimizely.

United uses Quantum Metric in tandem with tools such as Optimizely as well. With Optimizely, United can measure the metrics of each session and more effectively test new features. 

Through Quantum Metric, the data that United collects helps the digital team understand whether or not people are using the product as intended. If customers don’t behave as expected, United can decide to not move forward with a test and take a different approach. 

Contextualizing voice-of-customer feedback with Qualtrics / Quantum integration.

Quantum Metric also integrates with Qualtrics, the Voice-of-Customer platform that helps United listen to direct feedback from their customers. With Quantum Metric embedded replay for Qualtrics, teams can instantly view and quantify session replays tied directly to survey verbatims. 

By using both Quantum Metric and Qualtrics together, United can write better customer surveys and obtain more helpful feedback.

Accessing raw data and deeper insights from BigQuery. 

United can access data collected from Quantum Metric in Google BigQuery. In BigQuery, United can search directly for data and find relevant individual user sessions right away. The team can also target their data strategy by putting “restrictions on how you can search and what kind of data sets you pull back.” This enables United to focus on specific questions and get those answers. 

The integration with BigQuery makes it easier for United to create “dynamic and informative reports.” The United teams get a number of reports every week from Quantum Metric data, based on queries. 

With this data, United makes scorecards to ensure that they’re hitting the mark on each new test. 

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