With Salesforce, we can accelerate our digital goals. We can deliver a better experience for our customers and drive better engagement with our employees.”

- Ásta Benonýsdóttir, Customer Service Manager, Icelandair

Icelandair boosts growth with digitalised service delivery and personalised communications

Ana’s holiday got off to a bad start when bad weather delayed her flight. But she knows claiming compensation will be a breeze because her flight was booked with Icelandair. 
She simply fills in some basic information online, receives a secure link to provide her bank details, and within four days the money is in her account. And that means Ana can focus on enjoying her holiday.
It’s not only passengers like Ana that benefit from the seamless claims service – it also helps Icelandair’s customer service agents work faster and smarter. “With Salesforce, we can now resolve claims 59% faster,” said Ásta Benonýsdóttir, Customer Service Manager at Icelandair. “This not only means our customers get a speedier response but also makes our agents more productive and satisfied”.

Digitalisation strategy supports business growth

Icelandair has been flying passengers around the world for 80 years. It’s growing steadily, with passenger figures up 10% year-on-year. As the airline industry becomes ever more competitive, Icelandair needs to keep up with its customer’s digital demands. “There are now more than 30 airlines flying to Iceland, so we need to make sure that we’re the first choice,” said Benonýsdóttir. “Quality of service is a key factor when travellers select an airline; we want to deliver an experience that maintains our reputation and maximises customer loyalty.”

With a new website just launched and a mobile app on the horizon, Icelandair is upping its digital game. Digitalising core service processes and centralising customer information is key to its approach. “We want to track every interaction with our customers, from the moment they book their flight to when they step off the plane,” said Benonýsdóttir. “Greater digitalisation will sharpen our competitive edge and enrich the customer experience.”

Manual processes impact efficiency and quality of service

To achieve its digital ambitions and a 360-degree view of its customers, Icelandair needed to empower the teams working in its seven front-line departments with a single flexible platform. “A lack of transparency was impacting everything from corporate sales to customer service,” said Benonýsdóttir. “This resulted in duplication of effort and slow customer service.”

Managing compensation claims was particularly intensive and time-consuming, which resulted in incorrect information and delayed payments. With up to 3,800 claims to process a month in peak season, the airline needed a more efficient solution.

Customer compensation claims paid in 4 days instead of 4 weeks

Benonýsdóttir and her colleagues in IT had a clear idea what this solution should offer: “We wanted better visibility of information and the ability to automate workflows,” she said. “We started work with Salesforce in May, and by September we were live with a fully customised system. We’ve had a Salesforce architect working with us on a weekly basis to help develop solutions fit for each of our seven service teams.”

Since implementing Salesforce, Icelandair has reduced the time it takes to settle customer compensation claims from four weeks to just four days.

Less administration equals more quality time with customers

More than 100 agents use Service Cloud Lightning on a daily basis to not only log compensation requests but also to manage other customer queries and requests submitted via email. “Our service agents love it!” said Benonýsdóttir. “As well as centralising information on customer interactions, we’ve automated a number of workflows. This means agents no longer have to manually input data, spend hours creating reports, or shift cases back and forth between departments.”

With administrative tasks taking up less time, service agents can focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience to the four million passengers that travel with Icelandair every year.

Putting senior execs in the online chat hot seat

In the event of major disruption, Icelandair can quickly scale up the number of people available to help with customer queries. “Salesforce is so easy to use that we can ramp up our resources in the customer service team without the need for lots of training,” said Benonýsdóttir. “On one occasion, we had Icelandair executives from multiple departments and sister companies running online chats with customers after just five minutes’ training on Live Agent.”

“We’re no longer measuring or managing the business based on gut feel – we have the data to support decisions around training, investments, and process changes,” said Benonýsdóttir.

Actionable insights drive greater performance and personalisation

With its customer service information centralised, Icelandair has a full overview of the team’s performance for the first time. “We’re using tons of reports and dashboards in Salesforce. We can see how agents are spending their time and track KPIs such as response rates,” explained Benonýsdóttir. “We can also see if there are recurring problems, for example  baggage delays or missed connections at certain airports, and take appropriate action.”

Greater visibility also means a more personalised service for customers. “We can see if a customer has called previously and deal with their case in a more sensitive way,” explained Benonýsdóttir. “We can also support the loyalty scheme, as contact from gold and silver members is automatically prioritised.”

Smarter marketing improves email open rates

Icelandair is also improving the way it communicates with customers using Marketing Cloud and Audience Studio. “We’re not the biggest brand, and we don’t have the biggest budget, so when it comes to marketing, we have to be smarter and more sophisticated than the competition,” said Joshua Popsie, Head of Digital Marketing at Icelandair.

For starters, Popsie and his team have created a customer journey that ensures regular and relevant emails are sent from the moment they book their flight. With personalised communications based on the type of seat and the extras, such as wi-fi and baggage, that the customer has already booked, Icelandair has already seen a 19% increase in email open rates and 30% rise in click-throughs.

The team is also using Audience Studio to connect with third parties, such as Skyscanner, to better understand what customers are looking for. Based on this information, Popsie has created an abandoned cart journey that will remind customers to book their flight. And with Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud fully integrated, both marketing and service teams have visibility of every interaction and email, which means they can better understand each customer and their individual needs.

Ongoing innovation enriches customer experience and employee engagement

To boost its multi-channel approach, Benonýsdóttir also plans to take advantage of Live Message for SMS and Facebook as soon as it’s available in Lightning. “With Salesforce, we can accelerate our digital goals and keep innovating and improving. This will enable us to deliver a better experience for our customers and drive better engagement with our employees,” said Benonýsdóttir. “Happier employees and customers will help to keep our growth on track.”

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