Fastjet is a multi-award-winning value airline that began flight operations in 2012. Since commencing operations, fastjet has flown over 3.6 million passengers and established itself as a punctual and reliable airline brand.More about Fastjet
COVID-19 pushed the African airline industry to the brink, taking a heavy toll on millions of employees and bankrupting several airlines across the continent. In 2020 alone, Africa lost an estimated $7.7 billion in the aviation sector as restrictions were put in place by governments to combat the spread of the pandemic. Projections show that the aviation sector will take until 2023 or 2024 to return to pre-pandemic levels.
“During this turbulent period, airlines faced immense challenges with regulations changing at a moment’s notice, affecting thousands of people. People were left feeling vulnerable and uncertain, and they relied on us to always stay ahead and manage the disruption,” says Donahue Cortes, COO of fastjet.
Despite the sector-wide circumstances that necessitated urgent and time-sensitive communication with customers, the fastjet team realised the importance of investing in improved customer care that would result in a seamless travel experience. They focused on enhancing the airline’s systems to allow for agility and a people-centric communication strategy.
Fastjet turned to CM.com to help them bridge the gap between customer expectations and actual service customer care. They needed a digital communication solution that would overcome the challenges and go the extra mile in maintaining customers’ trust by considering the entire customer journey – from the moment a customer books a flight to their arrival in a new destination.
“We take our responsibility very seriously in helping customers navigate their travels. This drove us to investigate tools and resources that would make their experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible,” says Cortes.
Because customers want a familiar but secure and meaningful way to connect and engage with fastjet, WhatsApp was the ideal communication channel for their requirements. Fastjet’s digital expansion involved adopting the WhatsApp Business Platform via CM.com, allowing their team to send messages from their system to enable critical two-way conversations with customers.
With the help of WhatsApp Business Platform and integrated chatbot technology, queries from fastjet customers are dealt with smoothly and efficiently. Less complex, repetitive questions are answered by a scripted chatbot, while conversations that require more detailed responses are sent on to a customer support agent. This process makes the most of tech-based support as well as human interaction.
As of January 2022, two billion users in over 180 countries were accessing WhatsApp monthly. In less than 10 years, WhatsApp has become the world’s most popular app for personal and business conversations. Interestingly, it has also resulted in the app becoming a preferred channel for commercial transactions.
With fastjet’s audience likely to be using the app, the company had the opportunity to connect with customers on an already familiar and popular platform – in a customisable, secured, and simplified way. As a result, customers are supported with immediate, personalised assistance.
“In conjunction with the chatbot functionality, WhatsApp has given us a powerful communication solution. It’s allowed us to support more than 68 000 customers and provide prompt consistent responses. We’ve reached our audience proactively rather than merely managing crises reactively. CM.com’s tools and systems have changed the way we put the latest technology to work in the service of our customers, giving us exactly what we need when we need it,” says Beverley Kok, General Manager of Customer Experience at fastjet.
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