AA Invites Superusers to Co-create Better Customer Experiences

Pilot stading beside a large American Airline airplane on the runway.

American Airlines serves over 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories, offering 3,500+ daily flights worldwide. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance whose reach includes 840+ destinations and over 12,000 daily flights. In 2016, American Airlines topped Fortune magazine’s list of best business turnarounds, but before that happened, they had to overcome trying economic times, and a complex merger with US Airways.

The Challenge

As AA set its sights on long-term growth and profitability, marketing stakeholders within the iconic brand recognized the need for ongoing innovation, consumer and market insights. The goal was to understand how AA could better serve the needs and wants of specific high-value customer segments. In addition, a high-profile merger was in progress between American Airlines and competitor US Airways, and it was important for the American Airlines team to learn from customers of both airlines.

It was so encouraging when American launched this forum, indicating it might actually want to know what we think is working and what we think needs to be changed. The postings have been a blueprint for a very successful airline.

American Airline Community Participant

Thousands of Customers Drive Experience Improvements

AA partnered with Chaordix to create the American Airlines High-Value Customer Community to efficiently engage specific subsets of international high-value customers (including AA Elite customers and other airline customers) in an ongoing, real-time research dialogue. The gathering of deeper insights was facilitated through the Chaordix platform, combining qualitative and quantitative research program activities and analytics.

The Community, along with the expert guidance of the Chaordix team, allowed American Airlines to better understand the perceived strengths and weaknesses of their current travel experience and identify new opportunity areas for product and service development and enhancement. AA used the nearly 150,000 submissions, comments, and votes they received from over 3,200 engaged members to evolve the overall AA customer experience strategy.

The online community ultimately had a significant impact on everything from the customer journey to flight services, from digital services to lounge design. One of the community’s most notable successes was its significant contribution to an application that allows frequent flyers to easily use their points to book flights.

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