Improving Customer Service and Brand Management
Aeroflot is one of the most recognisable brands both in Russia and globally. The Company successfully maintains its high international profile through a relentless focus on the customer experience of its services and the commitment of its highly professional marketing team.
One of Aeroflot Group’s key priorities is enhancing its airport and in-flight customer service. The Group airlines are constantly seeking new opportunities to improve their customer service, and conduct product quality audits at all levels, including internationally.
Over 97%1 of customers who called Aeroflot airline’s contact centre during 2018 gave the highest scores for our customer service (4 and 5 on a 5-point scale), 12% above the target set by COPC Customer Experience Standard 2016.
Aeroflot was once again ranked the strongest airline brand globally according to Brand Finance in 2018.
SkyPriority branded priority airport services were rolled out in 2018 across the entire route network of Rossiya airline and in the departure airports of Aurora airline, the Group’s carrier offering services in the Russian Far East.
Aeroflot airline’s contact centre won international awards in 2018 for its high quality of customer service
СХ World Awards 2018 award in Best Customer Experience in B2C Sector category
Одна из высших One of the top European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSA)
Key focus areas of customer service enhancements in 2018
Full flat-bed seats were installed for business class passengers in four Airbus А330-300 aircraft.
Streaming in-flight entertainment system was made available for economy class passengers in 26 Airbus A320 family aircraft.
Selection of drinks and beverages was expanded, and a cocktail menu was updated in business class. Menu was enhanced in comfort class. Snack bars are now available in wide-body aircraft on flights lasting six hours or more, and an à la carte menu is offered in the economy class on flights of seven hours or more. New tableware is being introduced, designed by the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory.
To celebrate Aeroflot’s 95th anniversary, anniversary-themed products were offered to customers (themed chocolate bars, anniversary dishes on the menu, wine lists and menus in vintage style)
A shoulder belt service was introduced for passengers with disabilities.
Subsidiary airlines: Rossiya airline introduced amenity kits for business class passengers, as well as children’s kits on flights lasting six hours or more, continued its passenger cabin interior redesign programme, and a streaming in-flight entertainment system was made available on all flights from Sheremetyevo; Aurora airline expanded its Sky Bistro à la carte menu for improved in-flight experience, and added a content streaming service to its Aurora Entertainment system.
Passenger processes were set up at Sheremetyevo’s Terminal B for domestic flights.
Ostrov private service line was launched in Terminal B for business class passengers and holders of Aeroflot Bonus and SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus loyalty cards.
A number of procedures were developed and rolled out in Sheremetyevo to accelerate preflight screening, and tablets were used to reduce queues at Lost and Found desks.
Rossiya’s own branded service and information centre was established in Pulkovo airport’s check-in area.
ONLINE SERVICES (WEBSITE, MOBILE WEBSITE, AND MOBILE APP)
An online chat was launched on the website for passengers with disabilities to order special services, as well as an option to order the Shoulder Belt service online.
Website and mobile app functionalities were expanded to enable the following services:
- Displaying alternative flights for selected dates
- A joint travel programme by Aeroflot and German Deutsche Bahn railway company
- A Preselect Seats service on Aeroflot, Rossiya, Aurora flights
- Sales of Aeroxpress train tickets after online check-in
- An À la Carte Menu paid service for economy class (on flights lasting seven hours or more)
- Saving Aeroflot Bonus members’ billing documents (“Plati Legko” (Pay Easily) feature)
- A single flight reservation form
- An interactive map of airports within Aeroflot’s airline route network
- Voice search for tickets
- Automated ticket exchange/refund
- An option to enter ID data via a mobile device camera
- Expanded mobile payment options
- Aeroflot’s mobile app localised in German and Italian.
New partners were added to the NDC programme: Yandex Flights, Skyscanner, Aviasales, momondo, KAYAK, Dohop, Airinme
Subsidiary airlines: Rossiya’s website functionality was enhanced (including through additions of an interactive flight map, insurance service option, and Advanced Seat Reservation paid service for economy class passengers); Aurora’s website was upgraded, including the interface and website structure, and an accessible version of the website was added.
A dedicated hotline was established to assist passengers with disabilities
Advisory teams were established to advise passengers on their baggage status or customer query/request status, and to support the services offered via the Board Connect inflight entertainment system.
The pay-by-phone service was improved.
New value-added services were launched: À la Carte Menu, Class of Service Upgrade, and Advance Seat Selection.
CUSTOMER INTERACTION PLATFORM
As part of the efforts to enhance our customer interaction platform, an automated system was implemented for emotion analysis, and automatic customer call classification and handover to relevant units. The platform is used to handle all incoming customer queries or requests across all feedback channels: one-stop shop at the website, on-board requests, emails, and queries submitted to the offices, representative offices, and branches.
Aeroflot conducts a number of annual marketing surveys to further enhance its services and the competitiveness of its product offering, as well as to improve consumer loyalty and customer satisfaction:
Another assessment of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) was carried out together with Bain & Company in 2018. Aeroflot’s NPS score has grown by over 50% since measurements first started nine years ago.
A customer satisfaction assessment was conducted as part of IATA’s Airs@t survey in the European market and under a wider joint SkyTeam Customer Experience Research project covering all member airlines.
Monitoring of compliance with Aeroflot customer service standards is carried out as mystery passenger audits to promptly identify and eliminate product- and servicerelated pain points throughout the customer journey. After four project waves (December 2017 to November 2018), the average level of compliance across the Company was 89.5%, with upward trends observed in metrics across all customer service stages.
Aeroflot Bonus programme was voted the winner in four categories at the Freddie Awards 2018
Best Elite Program
Best Redemption Ability
Best Customer Service
The greatest development potential in the region
Aeroflot continued to develop its Aeroflot Bonus programme, which offers its members an opportunity to earn free miles when flying. In 2018, the number of programme members increased by 24.3% to 8.3 million.
In 2018, we reduced the amount of miles required to purchase an award ticket and to upgrade travel class for a number of Aeroflot routes to Europe and within Russia, and launched a number of online services to increase mile redemption options for programme members. The programme members now have an online option to receive and transfer to other members up to 50,000 miles a year, upgrade their travel class using miles or upgrade vouchers, and exchange award tickets.
The number of the programme partners is steadily increasing, with 66 new partners joining the Aeroflot Bonus programme in 2018. The total number of partners was 190 as at the year end, including 20 airlines. The Company continued to expand its range of goods and products from non-industry partners available for purchase using bonus miles. Aeroflot Bonus partners include banks, hotels, car rental companies, online stores, retailers, and restaurants.
Special promotions are regularly offered, including co-promotions with partners, to raise the programme’s profile and attract more members. The Light Awards promotion was held monthly during 2018, whereby passengers could purchase award tickets using less bonus miles for certain Aeroflot routes. Miles Mania promotions were held, with the programme’s non-bank partners awarding members double and triple amounts of miles, the Make It in 72 Hours campaign was run, offering items from the Reward Catalogue with a 50% discount, and a number of other promotions. Aeroflot continued its partnership with Disney, attracting about 7,500 new members through The Nutcracker and the Four Realms film’s original play promotion.
Aeroflot Bonus Member Attraction service was launched on www.aeroflot.ru website and mobile website covering the booking, ticketing and checking-in customer journeys, and the online check-in procedure via the website was simplified.
Aeroflot continued its marketing campaigns in 2018, launching a number of new initiatives. A special focus during the year was placed on sponsoring major cultural and business events in Russia.
Aeroflot supported Classics at the Palace Square gala of worldfamous opera stars held as part of Saint Petersburg’s 315th anniversary celebrations. In autumn 2018, The Company participated in the 8th Circle of Light Moscow International Festival held under the auspices of the Moscow Government.
Aeroflot acted as the official carrier for high-profile business forums such as the Russian Investment Forum, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, and the Eastern Economic Forum.
An advertising campaign was held in autumn 2018 to promote new routes within Aeroflot Group’s route network, announce Aeroflot’s Best Business Class – Europe award in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2018, and advertise new full flat-bed seats for business class passengers in wide-body aircraft.
Aeroflot makes smart use of advertising tools to promote new routes, increase its brand recognition globally, and bolster demand for connecting flights between Asia and Europe.
A number of co-promotion campaigns were held throughout the year with airports in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, France, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Poland, and Italy.
Aeroflot actively adopts and utilises Big Data solutions to tailor targeted marketing communications in line with international best practice. Apart from traditional advertising channels, Aeroflot also employs direct marketing communications including email marketing to promote routes and bolster demand for its value-added services.
According to Brand Finance, the Aeroflot brand value grew by 3% to USD 1.5 billion in 2018. The combined value of Aeroflot Group’s brands (Aeroflot, Rossiya, Pobeda, and Aurora) totalled almost USD 2.0 billion.