Rushing through a busy airport can feel stressful. Rushing through an airport that serves 200+ destinations, operates 1,000+ flights a day, and welcomes 70M+ passengers a year, can feel overwhelming. But not at Heathrow Airport. Luckily for travelers, it is committed to giving every passenger the best airport service in the world.
Heathrow uses Salesforce Customer 360 to empower partners and employees with a single view of its customers. This means passengers can access the right airport services at the right time – from buying a new handbag 30 minutes before they board their plane to booking a parking space months in advance. Now, millions of passengers can truly sit back, relax, and enjoy the entire travel experience.
“Heathrow is one of the biggest airports in the world. We also want to be one of the best airports in the world,” said CEO John Holland-Kaye. “Salesforce Customer 360 helps us make every journey better for millions of passengers.”
Better journeys mean happier customers and stronger business outcomes. Heathrow, which operates with the support of around 75,000 people, is now Europe’s busiest airport and second in the world for international travel. Greater integration, automation, and personalisation have also helped the airport boost digital revenue by 30% since 2019.
Here are some key takeaways from Heathrow’s digital journey that can help you unlock greater value for your business.
1. Increase customer satisfaction with seamless digital experiences.
2. Connected customer data unlocks richer insights.
A honeymoon. A family reunion. A business trip. People go to airports for lots of different reasons. Heathrow wants to ensure it provides the right services to the right customers – all 70 million of them. “There’s no point telling a traveler flying home to New York about short-term parking at the airport when they’ve just jumped on the Heathrow Express,” said Peter Burns, Marketing and Digital Director at Heathrow.
With Salesforce Data Cloud, Heathrow can capture passenger interactions from multiple channels in a single place and share this data in real time with different teams. “We have one of the most diverse customer bases on the planet,” said Stickland. “With Salesforce, we can tap into new insights and offer new experiences that make passengers feel special. It gives us a single golden thread.”
By connecting customer service, marketing, and ecommerce interactions in Data Cloud, Heathrow will be able to anticipate what a passenger needs before their next visit to the airport. For example, it could see that a business traveler always buys the same products in duty free and remind them to place a click & collect order.
The customer data platform, which was implemented with support from Salesforce Professional Services and Acxiom, will become the central point for all passenger records. By centralising its data and simplifying its tech stack, Heathrow has also been able to boost agility and security. “When you are switching between different systems, there’s a risk you will expose data. It also takes longer to spot customer trends,” said Leanne Lynch, Technology and Cyber Defence Director at Heathrow. “With a single customer platform, we can stay one step ahead of what passengers want.”
3. Boost customer spend with greater personalisation.
“We can now understand and segment our customers better, which means we can share relevant offers that enrich their experience and drive revenue,” said Meenal Varsani, Head of Marketing and Customer Engagement for Heathrow Airport. “We’ve already seen an increase in average transaction value and spend per visit for customers that have opted to receive marketing communications.”
As Heathrow embraces more digital channels and creates more content, the marketing team needs to ensure it is delivering maximum value. Marketing Cloud Intelligence connects 30+ data sources to provide a unified view of performance. This helps the team focus on the right campaigns and communications to increase the return on investment from marketing.
4. Deeper ecommerce integration helps increase digital revenue by 30%.
Heathrow is not only transforming its own digital services; it’s enabling new connections between customers and hundreds of partners. Retail and catering concessions account for around 10% of the airport’s annual revenue – and Heathrow wants to make it easier for customers to connect with these brands.
Heathrow has launched a Retail Reserve & Collect service that enables people to make purchases online before they reach the airport. “With Commerce Cloud, we can provide passengers with more physical and digital shopping options – even if their favorite brand doesn’t have a presence in the terminal,” said Andrews.
By integrating its ecommerce platform with customer service and marketing tools, Heathrow can update passengers on their orders, like that sleep mask they bought, and recommend a set of earplugs to go with it.
Heathrow has also transformed how it processes online quotes and purchases for its parking services, which has helped to increase conversion rates. “Within a month of migrating our parking services to Commerce Cloud, we achieved our highest ever revenue and online Net Promoter Score,” said Burns.
The airport’s overall digital revenue has increased by 30% despite a 20% fall in passengers following the COVID-19 pandemic. “Salesforce makes up-selling and cross-selling much easier. And that helps make our team more efficient,” said Andrews.
5. Guide passengers at each step of their journey with efficient customer service.
On a busy day, over 200,000 passengers pass through Heathrow. And they all expect great customer service. But how do you deliver this efficiently and cost-effectively on such a massive scale?
From online forms to knowledge articles and chatbots, the airport is empowering its customers and colleagues to answer queries faster and smarter. For example, if a passenger is running late for a connecting flight, they can start a live chat on their phone as soon as they disembark the plane to check the quickest route to the departure gate.
With Service Cloud, Heathrow can make sure these types of time-sensitive questions are answered quickly. It has created automated rules that help to categorise and prioritise cases on different channels.
Heathrow uses Service Cloud to log every interaction on every channel, which gives its customer service agents a 360-degree view. By capturing this data on a single platform, team leaders can also identify opportunities to further improve service quality and efficiency. For example, Heathrow has used Service Cloud to create knowledge articles that answer common parking questions, which means passengers no longer have to contact the customer service team.
Einstein chatbots have also helped to significantly reduce call volumes and free up agent time. “With Salesforce, we can provide anytime, anywhere support more easily and effectively,” said Varsani.