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Ryanair – big data, improved customer experience and a profit increase

By February 16, 2016 No Comments

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, doubled their profits in the third quarter of 2015. Exactly two years before, Ryanair were in the process of announcing their second profit warning in the space of two months. The corner stone of this miraculous turn around was built around leveraging big data to become customer centric. Ryanair discovered that providing the consumer with what they wanted was the way to maximize profits. They pushed forward with their ‘Always Getting Better’ program which was focused on improving the customer experience at all touch points.

Ryanair developed this customer experience program using big data. They understood that as a company they were sitting on a gold mine of data which could be analyzed and used to help improve customer satisfaction. This data was gathered at all touch points between the company and the consumer. Ryanair analyzed bookings, searches, click streams, they pushed pre purchase surveys and post purchase surveys. This data was then compiled and centralized in a ‘data lake’.  From here the Ryanair’s ‘Insight Team’ could pull the data from multiple sources, blend it, normalize it and prep the data, then present it in a form which is useful and meaningful. The ‘production systems’ team then take this prepped data, enrich it and use the data to segment each customer into a relevant group such as ‘City Breakers’.   

As Ryanair showed companies can use big data to better understand their customers which in turn enables them to improve on their customer experience which drives profits. This is especially true in the telco market. Today’s mobile customers want value for money and a high quality service and if this isn’t provided they won’t hesitate to switch providers. In such a competitive industry the ability to utilize this data and differentiate yourself from your competitors is a must. In their 2016 industry asked over 1500 telecoms professionals about big data. When prompted with five statements that cover the whole spectrum of potential attitudes towards Big Data, 48% of respondents picked “A good big data strategy would give my organisation a competitive advantage,” while 28% went for “Correct use of data is critical to the success of my organisation”. This shows that operators are beginning to value big data. However, that doesn’t mean they understand its capabilities and importance. Few operators can actually grasp the strategies and technologies needed to gain actual insights from the sheer mass of data they have at their fingertips.

One way operators can utilize big data is by providing their customers with real time contextual offers.

In a survey of 87 operators by Openet, operators indicated that they could increase offer uptake rates by 75%, data revenues by 15% and reduce churn rates by 8.5% if they could deliver real-time contextual offers.

Operators can also use this data to move from reactive churn management to proactive churn management by analyzing the data and creating a predictive churn model. Operators can identify potential ‘churners’ and act on this prediction, by reaching out to customer to try stop them from leaving.

So be it an operator or a commercial airline, the ability to cost effectively collect, prepare and manage data and use this to enhance customer experience from many different sources is essential. As Ryanair have shown, delivering a better customer experience does make a significant impact on the bottom line.

To read the results of the big data section of the 2016 industry survey click here.