Presentation from Aviation Outlook Africa summit in Johannesburg; 13 July 2011

I delivered a keynote presentation today at the Aviation Outlook Africa conference at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa today.

My presentation, “Two Paradigm Shifts in Travel and Three Ways to Drive Customer Engagement,” looks into how social media is changing the travel industry and what airlines and airports can do to leverage social tools to build stronger customer relationships. Like in any relationship, customer loyalty is bred from two-way communication, and while social media has given individual customers a stronger voice than ever before, it also provides airlines with an effective way to engage and understand them.

In this presentation, I illustrate how the “cult” is becoming more important than the customer, and how the traveler life cycle is evolving. While airlines are currently very good with the booking and travel processes, the new paradigm requires airlines to zoom out and understand the potential customer touch points that exist prior to booking and after travel. After introducing these concepts, I go into examples of how some forward-thinking airlines and other companies are embracing the social media to accomplish this.

I must say, it was nerve-wracking to be placed right before lunch (which was running behind schedule), and after Mango Airlines CEO Nico Bezuidenhout. Thanks, conference organizers!!

Please see the video below:

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Customer Engagement Strategy for the Airline Industry