Customer experience is top-of-mind for enterprises, which are transforming to become customer- and data-centric businesses. This includes the evolving role of the CIO and rethinking IT’s collaboration with marketing.
Moving IT from Enabling to Inspiring
How Avianca Airlines’ new way of thinking is aimed at transforming the customer experience in partnership with Adobe and Microsoft
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Many IT organizations have become partners in the overall corporate effort to digitally transform and improve the customer experience. And IT teams often focus their efforts on being the “enabler” of these changes. But what if IT went a step further? What if, rather than focus only on enabling changes, IT became more engaged and actually inspired business units by showing the way forward?
That’s the approach taken by Santiago Aldana Sanin, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Technology Officer at Avianca Airlines, the Colombian national carrier. One of the keys to Avianca’s success is that Aldana Sanin is responsible for the customer digital experience and works with numerous operating teams to enhance it. Avianca starts with a focus on the cultural changes necessary to improve the experience. Then the carrier makes decisions about the technology platforms needed for cultural change. To inspire, IT must adopt new thinking to become more agile and innovative. Further, as Aldana Sanin explains, “there must be a commitment to becoming data-driven, with strong data-collection processes.”
The framework for improving the customer experience starts with understanding that Avianca is the “distance” between a customer and his or her goal. That goal may be a vacation, a family visit, or a business trip. The question then becomes how to reduce the effort or “friction” involved in achieving that goal. The greater the reduction in effort that a change delivers, the more important it is. The customer experience at Avianca is divided into 19 areas with more than 90 touch points, and Aldana Sanin’s goal is to reduce friction at each touch point. For example, during the booking process, delivering only appropriate and viable offers reduces a traveler’s frustration and improves the experience.
This thinking drove Avianca’s decision to focus the cultural and technology solutions on a few key elements:
Personalize the experience
Deliver appropriate and valuable information
Automate to reduce the amount of customer effort required at each touch point
Gather strong data to evaluate potential changes
Provide an omnichannel-consistent experience
In addition, Avianca views the customer experience holistically—that is, before, during, and after the trip—to ensure all aspects of the experience are improved.
To achieve this goal, Aldana Sanin looked to key technology partners. Teaming with Adobe, Microsoft, Amadeus, Accenture, and SAP enables Avianca to weave together all data cohesively and transform the customer journey. This provides the essential underlying information to personalize experiences, and it’s transforming Avianca into a data-driven organization.
The carrier leverages Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CRM and Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe’s experience delivery offering, on Microsoft Azure to deliver personalized content for its homepage and the Avianca app. Experience Manager makes the process of editing content quick and easy. Avianca is also using Adobe Campaign to provide more valued communications with customers. Using Adobe Target, Avianca can now conduct A/B and multivariate testing of offers to determine which option performs better. These tools drive agility as Avianca can now make new or different offers more quickly and change the experience more readily.
Watch Aldana Sanin explain Avianca Airlines’ customer-centric IT strategy below.
For more information on what customer-centric IT looks like, click here.