Cognizant to digitalise guest experience Etihad Airways

08 January 2016

Etihad Airways has hired Cognizant to digitalise its customer experience. The three-year multimillion dollar deal will see the consulting firm analyse the company’s digital strategy to devise ways of leveraging customers’ data to improve services, but also generate new revenue streams.

Many airlines, according to analysis from L.E.K Consulting, still lack a single view of their customers, with often siloed IT systems inhibiting their ability to update their view. While there is considerable information generated by customers, much of that information remains fragmented and unleveraged. Customer expectations relating to an easy to follow user experience are, in many instances, also not available.

In a bid to improve its customer service Etihad Airways, the national carrier of Abu Dhabi, recently launched a digital transformation programme across the airline and its equity partners.

Cognizant to digitalise guest experience Etihad Airways

The three-year multimillion dollar deal between Etihad Airways and Cognizant will see the latter develop a digital strategy aimed at creating a complementary digital guest experience as part of the wider customers’ journey, implementable across the group.

Cognizant will conduct a complete study of Etihad Airways’ current business and technology footprint, with the aim of providing the development of a best-in-class digital ecosystem, enabling multi-channel distribution, customer persona segmentation and personalised marketing techniques. Through the leveraging of customers’ information, Etihad Airways will be able to offer its guests “customised offerings, tailored travel solutions, and enhanced experiences throughout their journey based on their loyalty status and personal preferences such as product and service features, preferred seating, meal choices, holiday destinations and more.” The leveraging of the digital ecosystem will provide new revenue streams, strengthen the company’s brand and build new business models.

Etihad Airways hires Cognizant

The deal was signed recently by John Burgin, Head of Cognizant Digital Works APAC and Middle East, and Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer. “Our guests are increasingly turning to digital channels to connect with us, and therefore we recognise the importance of delivering a personalised and seamless guest experience across all touch-points,” remarks Baumgartner. “Our partnership with Cognizant will help us define a superior digital experience roadmap that enhances the customer journey from planning to booking, in the airport and on the plane, and improve guest loyalty by attracting and engaging with guests in new and innovative ways. The scope includes digital tools and data insights for our customer-facing staff to further enhance their ability to provide a more customised and personalised service to our guests.”

Francisco D’Souza, CEO of Cognizant, expresses to be pleased to be partnering with Abu Dhabi’s carrier. “This engagement marks the coming together of two pioneering organisations whose growth strategy is underpinned by digital innovation. The Cognizant Digital Works team looks forward to helping Etihad Airways and its equity partners deliver control, simplicity and transparency to the modern connected traveller. The digital initiative will further strengthen Etihad Airways' leadership position as a premium brand known for high-touch customer service.”