SMS takes to the skies

Imagine rushing to get to the airport on time, giving up that last sip of coffee and tripping over the dog on the way out… only to get there and your plane has been delayed. Frustrating isn’t it? If only you’d been notified about the delay, your travel experience would’ve been a lot more pleasant. Well, that’s FlySafair’s goal – to unite people with who and what they love by providing a low-fare, hassle-free, on-time travel experience. To help them achieve this goal, they use SMS and here’s why.

Due to the time sensitive nature of the airline industry, it was important that FlySafair communicated effectively and efficiently with their passengers in order to manage expectations and improve customer service. Leigh Elgar, Revenue and Yield Manager at FlySafair, decided that the best way to do this was to use SMS. “We recognised that the most reliable way of getting messages to our passengers was through SMS. That and the fact that SMS messages are seldom left unread,” says Elgar.

FlySafair has been using BulkSMS.com since the day they booked their very first passenger flight. They integrated the SMS API into their online reservation platform and when a customer makes and pays for their flight booking, a confirmation SMS is sent automatically from the online platform to the passenger’s mobile phone. The customer contact information, along with their flight details, are then stored and can be accessed when and if FlySafair needs to update a customer on their flight.

For example, in the event of a flight delay or changes to flight details, SMS messages are sent to each passenger advising them of any change. In this case, a member of the FlySafair customer service team logs into their CRM (customer relationship management) system where they type up an SMS message to be sent to all passengers of the affected flight detailing the relevant changes.

FlySafair

Using SMS messaging to communicate these changes to the departure time or duration of a flight is vital to ensuring that each passenger stays informed and up to date on their travel plans. “Our use of SMS ensures that our passengers don’t miss their flights or waste time waiting for a delayed flight. It also gives them time to make alternative arrangements with connecting flights or pick up times,” says Elgar.

“It is great to see that our SMS API integration enables time-critical communication with FlySafair passengers. Their use of our service is the perfect example of how SMS can be used to manager passenger expectations thereby improving customer service,” says Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com.