SkyTeam aims for the sky in customer experience through long-term consumer collaboration

Our customer-centric research approach helped SkyTeam develop new concepts and service ideas to better serve their passengers.

Lady with a cup of coffee and suitcase waiting in airport
Lady with a cup of coffee and suitcase waiting in airport

How it started

As an association of nineteen airlines, SkyTeam’s mission is to create a seamless travel experience through operational excellence while maintaining a customer focus. This is particularly important for the SkyPriority offering, which aims at giving high-value customers a consistent premium experience. However, covering over 1,000 airports, SkyTeam faces the daunting task of creating and implementing such services across a group of disparate members with unique characteristics, cultures, languages and geographies.

SkyTeam sought to bridge the divide between themselves, their members and the end customer. To guarantee a consistent superior customer experience, they wanted to capture experiences from SkyPriority customers throughout all SkyPriority touchpoints.


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Rather than the traditional feedback loop of days, weeks or months, all SkyPriority managers can access a customised online dashboard with real-time response data – survey figures, stories and photos – allowing them to continuously have a finger on the pulse. Back-end system triggers notify relevant stakeholders of critical incidents, allowing to address them immediately. By embedding these continuous feedback loops, SkyTeam moved from a ‘push’ to a ‘pull’ approach.


How it lives on

6 months into the project we examined the impact of the program for customers and SkyPriority managers. During that period, more than 34,000 audits were performed by more than 8,000 SkyPriority members.

The key objective of the research program was to have an impact on the customer experience. Customers should feel they are helping to build and improve the SkyPriority experience and that their feedback triggers actionability internally, without being disruptive to their premium experience. What we found was that users of the app gave significantly higher scores on measures of collaboration. The participants felt they had an impact on the future of SkyPriority and that SkyTeam truly wanted to learn from their customers. The consumer centricity project thus successfully achieved a key objective: collaborating with customers and improving customer satisfaction through this collaboration.

Airline managers furthermore strongly supported the use of the program, with 8 out of 10 indicating the program is allowing them to better understand the needs of high-value customers, better envision the strategy and better execute their roles as SkyPriority managers. 95% says the program provides more relevant data and insights. With the research program, which won the Silver ESOMAR Effectiveness Award 2016, SkyTeam succeeded in changing the SkyPriority managers’ hearts (establishing a culture of customer centricity), minds (better understanding the customer needs) and actions (fuelling operational excellence).

The program is now expanding in methodology, including additional ad hoc surveys and qualitative discussion techniques to get an even better understanding of the context airlines are operating in.

“At SkyTeam, our position is to help member airlines offer customers a more seamless travel experience. With the SkyPriority Panel project, we can offer our members crucial real-time feedback, allowing them to improve the customer experience.”

Mauro Oretti
Vice President Sales & Marketing, SkyTeam

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