Clarabridge Survey Reveals Expectations, Habits of US, UK Airline Customers

Clarabridge, Inc., the provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions for the world´s top brands, has revealed the results from its comprehensive airline consumer survey, the company said.

Clarabridge surveyed more than 1,200 consumers in both the United States and United Kingdom respectively. In both surveys respondents were between the ages of 18 and 60.

The survey asked airline consumers share their feedback on all aspects of their air travel experience including personal preferences, expectations and key complaints. Clarabridge also analyzed more than 750,000 online ratings/reviews and mentions shared on public forums from Facebook, Airline Quality and TripAdvisor to capture the Voice of the Customer (VoC).

The survey unveiled three critical findings:

Consumers believe airlines are not listening. 69% and 73% of US and UK consumers respectively have never submitted a complaint, nor delivered feedback to an airline company. Within both markets, about two thirds of all consumers report that even when they do deliver feedback on their experience, complaints go unrecognized or unaddressed. This suggests that it is imperative for airlines to accurately collect and respond to feedback to ensure customers know they are being heard, and that their feedback is being acted upon in order to provide the best possible travel experience.

Attitude matters. Flight staff and crew attitude drives loyalty even more than affordable flights. In the US, 38% of customers are loyal to a particular airline based on how they are treated, compared to 35% of customers who choose their airlines based on price. Friendly staff is more indicative of whether or not an individual recommends an airline to a future traveler, with 33% of all UK customers citing it as the primary reason for their recommendation. Therefore, airlines must use the customer voice to adjust their policies, procedures and training and encourage the entire organization–from teams both in the sky and back at headquarters–to instill a culture of friendliness and positivity so that customers keep coming back.

It´s time to improve digital feedback channels. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, customers expressed a preference for digital feedback. Of the customers that do provide feedback, 46% and 42% in the UK and US do so by email, and 13% and 11%, respectively, by social media. Across both markets, more than half of all customers utilize digital tools to comment on their experience. In the UK only 1 in 10 complaints actually involves a human interaction. In conjunction with an increase in digital feedback, the data suggests that airlines must improve and invest in the technical infrastructure necessary to support customer complaints via digital means, be it on social media or in-app. This will not only satisfy customers, but also reduce the weight and cost of in person channels.

Clarabridge´s SaaS customer experience management solution helps hundreds of the world´s brands put customer feedback to work. Offering the most comprehensive solution for omni-source listening, accurate customer and text analytics, and real-time, guided action is why brands trust Clarabridge to power their CX programs and drive a customer focused strategy. The result: better customer experiences. For more information, visit