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IBM : Finnair Teams with IBM to Redefine the Customer Experience for Its Passengers

11/11/2010 | 03:05pm US/Eastern
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BARCELONA, Spain and HELSINKI, Nov. 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Smarter Industries Symposium today in Barcelona, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it is working with Finnair to deliver more personalized customer service and a better end-to-end travel experience for its more than seven million passengers each year. This effort will enable Finnair to further differentiate its travel experience from other carriers and provide a more seamless journey for its customers.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )

As airlines operate in a volatile market, they are faced with the need to adapt to both the demands of travelers and an increasingly competitive marketplace. An upcoming study on the airline industry from the IBM Institute of Business Values finds that, in the next decade, airlines need to shift their focus from product development efforts like aircraft seat design to the intangible, service-oriented aspects of the travel experience that customers most care about.

Today, price of travel is the most important selection criteria for travelers. While 89 percent of travelers surveyed by IBM say that they see differences between air carriers, only 41 percent said they were willing to pay more to fly with their favorite airline. In order to provide a better overall travel experience and convert frequent travelers into loyal customers, airlines need to more precisely understand not only why passengers choose their airline, but how they value the overall journey from purchasing a ticket to arriving at their destination.

IBM will help Finnair analyze the experience of its passengers from the time a ticket is being researched and booked to the moment when the customer leaves the airport after a flight. By better understanding how the journey works as a whole, Finnair will be able to improve the quality of its service and better tailor the range of air travel services that it offers its customers whether flying for business or leisure purposes. This will lead to new, specialized services for Finnair customers that factor in an individual's most important criteria for travel.

"Our customers' needs and wishes are increasingly individual and we are aiming in accordance with our vision to tailor our service better to meet their expectations," says Finnair's President & CEO Mika Vehvilainen.

IBM is providing its consulting expertise, methodology and software to capture, mine and analyze relevant information from the Finnair customer experience, the related processes that take place when searching for and booking a ticket, travel to and from airport or even lodging. Understanding these different touchpoints across a customer's journey will also help them provide better customer service and handle any issues that may occur along the way.

"More and more, data is available to create more personalized services for travelers that will ensure the seamless and convenient travel experience that customers want," said Eric Conrad, IBM's global industry lead for travel & transportation. "By holistically understanding the entire air travel experience, Finnair can create new ways to differentiate and improve customer service for its most loyal customers and set itself apart from other airlines."

About Finnair

For more information on Finnair Plc, visit www.finnairgroup.com

About IBM

For more information on IBM Smarter Transportation, please go to http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/transportation.

For more information on IBM's Smarter Industries Symposium and how different industries are leveraging technology and innovative management to become smarter, please visit Building A Smarter Planet and join the conversation on Twitter at #IBMSYM.



    Contacts:
    Sara Delekta Galligan
    IBM Media Relations (U.S.)
    +1 415 545 6715
    sdelekta@us.ibm.com

    Petra Snellman
    IBM Media Relations
     (Finland)
    +358 (0)40 709 4367
    petra.snellman@fi.ibm.com

    Finnair Plc
    Laura Varja
    Corporate Communications
    +358 (0)9 818 4973
    laura.varja@finnair.com


SOURCE IBM

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