How do you prepare for the future when the rapid pace of present growth is challenged by customer frustrations and declining perceptions? Despite recent growth, Aeroméxico, the nation’s flagship airline, faced a competitive landscape with rivals that were growing even more quickly. The emerging competition came from a combination of new budget airlines and increasingly more sophisticated international carriers. To add more pressure, customers’ expectations of quality were being driven yet higher by customer experience leaders in retail and hospitality. Even domestic customers who usually take deep pride in their national carrier were attuned to the shortcomings, as social media amplified the service frustrations and perceptions.
In the midst of these challenges, and while undertaking a roll out of consumer-facing applications, including a new website, new lounges, and a new airport, Aeroméxico called on the category and innovation expertise of Lippincott. The project quickly expanded into a full re-envisioning and overhaul of the customer journey and travel experience, as Aeroméxico sought to define the future of air travel.
Through data and insights on the shifting customer demographic, we identified two critical segments: senior executives and experience-driven millennials. A key step in the work was the development of personas for these segments: Fernando, the savvy senior executive, and Daniela, the non-stop millennial. Their preferences and behaviors came to directly shape every discussion and exploration of the customer experience — from buying a ticket online to hailing a taxi from the airport and arriving at the final destination. As a process it provided internal teams the discipline and guidance to think in the mindset of their customer, bringing pain points to light as well as identifying moments to make the journey easier, more enjoyable and in step with evolving technological expectations.
The collaborative efforts of Aeroméxico and Lippincott led to the brand’s repositioning as “Thoughtfully modern, unmistakably yours.” The new brand combines breakthrough technologies with a warm human touch. But brands are built on actions, not words. To live up to Aeroméxico’s mission of reimagined, modern travel, we needed to make sure they could deliver on the promise across the travel journey. How? By looking beyond airlines to design experiences focused on customers’ needs with a forward view that anticipated major shifts well into the next two decades.
We immersed ourselves in the life of the customer of the future. Throwing all assumptions out the window, we challenged teams to think bigger and bolder, asking questions such as: What will the end-to-end air travel experience look like in 15 years? How will customers expect us to take care of them?
Our final experience vision map contained actionable items that directly reflected Aeroméxico’s business goals. Over 100 new ideas were developed, ranging from actionable service enhancements for today’s traveler through to conceptual experiences fit for the customer of the future. New airline service roles were conceived on and off-board to reduce stress and add value such as Airport Allies, in-flight hosts and intelligent personal assistants. New revenue streams were identified, such as bag delivery, flight subscription packages and a retail ecosystem powered by Amazon Go. We even reinvented the amenity purchasing experience, offering a selection of specially curated items that go beyond typical business class amenities and reflect Aeroméxico customers’ sense of quality and craftsmanship.