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Air Traffic (Call) Control

Are you giving your pilots the information they need at the time they need it?

Air traffic control tells pilots in which direction to fly, for how long, at what speed and at what height. The interaction is quite dense on take-off and landing but can be quite dispersed during the long flight.

The pilot needs information to ensure they are complying with ATC directions, but also meeting the real-time smooth quality of service needed to keep 400 tonnes of aluminium in the sky with happy passengers every second. They need to make real-time decisions based on information in the cockpit.

If strategy, performance, direction and quality, business/call metrics or call analytics are our central air traffic (call) control, then what flight display are we giving to our pilots (the agents, advisors, supervisors and team leaders)? Are the metaphorical radar, distance measuring equipment, instrument landing system and so on all in the basement (AKA the analytics and IT team) having a weekly interlock to let you know how the flight is doing?

You may have crashed by then, or seriously damaged your CX.

Ultimately, airlines want to keep passengers safe and comfortable and delight them so that they come back. It is not too dissimilar in our world. We have to keep data safe, and we have to remain highly secure and compliant. We have to streamline customer journeys and deliver answers or service swiftly, and we need to do it in a way that they feel valued and respected so they want to come back for more and spread their brand experience.

Giving empowerment and true insight to the pilots and their direct supervisors is critical. Getting a weekly update on irrelevant data is not solving the problem.

I find that most pilots (agents) want to do better, want to know more, want to learn. They want more gold stripes on their arm and they want to delight. But do we have a good flight school? Are we measuring the right things, and is the access to this information available, reviewable and digestible, as well as easy, open and intuitive? And can they find this on the flight deck? In nearly all cases, I find the answer is no. The AT(C)C is old, closed, proprietary and very difficult to use, and only the elite have access. The pilots may have switch data, number of calls, average call handling time, call abandon rate, do not disturb time, wrap-up time and survey data (which I believe is flawed) but much of this was relevant when the Wright Brothers were flying. We live in a digital/hyper-speed world with next-gen jets. We need to empower our agents so they can see what matters: customer friction scores (relating to them), customer experience scores (relating to them), personal QM goals, security and compliance goals and real-time improvement plans. The business needs CX scores and C-SAT derived electronically via AI, not by the agent or customer who both have biased viewpoints and different scoring algorithms. The agent could be saying “I am flying at 30,000ft” while the customer is saying “I can read the number-plate of that car”.

The analogy is comparable with the old signs at the airport: click, click, click, LHR – JFK 001 09:20 GATE 34 CLOSING. That was about all you got!

Now, I have apps, flight schedules, I know what the plane is, where it is now, where it is coming from. I can change my seat at the last moment, add more bags and link data to my taxi driver. It is 100 times richer – and I am doing it. Easy and intuitive empowerment.

Let us give our pilots the apps they deserve.