A North Star for better customer experience

The Finnair digital customer experience vision helps the airline navigate through the complexities of the aviation business with business in mind and with the traveller at heart.

Finnair asked us to help craft a vision for an enhanced digital customer experience. They said they needed a North Star, a point of orientation and a shared goal for the entire organization. The brief was to create the vision around the travellers’ journey and the airline’s offering.

We delivered an award winning digital customer experience vision through close collaboration with Fjord and Finnair. On a high level the vision was to provide Finnair’s customers with the best digital travel experience, or more eloquently put, to build peace of mind for air travellers. It became our objective and destination. We then put together a roadmap and a digital service blueprint to help get us there.

Create the vision beyond digital and today

When the project began, we immersed ourselves in the world of air travel: we studied the airline’s customers at the different stages of their journeys, we interviewed Finnair’s management to understand the airline’s strategic objectives and we dove into their customer data.

In this phase, instead of focusing on a single service or touch point, we took a step back to build an understanding of the bigger picture. We mapped each and every connection between the airline and the traveller, taking it all into account; all the physical, digital and human touch points. We considered what had to be improved and made a list of services that should be designed and delivered in the future.

With this level of complexity it is easy to get lost, working separately on your own thing or focusing too much on the details of a single service. The vision together with the roadmap and the blueprint helps everyone to move forward in uniform, across the organization.

Dream, fly, reflect, repeat

One of the most important insights of the process was that the airline travel experience contains more than just the flight. We are travellers, all the time. We are in a continuous loop of dreaming of future trips, finding the best flights and booking them, hopping on the plane, spending time at the destination, getting back home, reflecting on the voyage and dreaming of the next trip.

For the traveller, this is a mix of emotional highs and lows. It is great to sink your feet in the sand, but equally stressful when you cannot find the right terminal on departure day. We documented all of this in the service blueprint. It was massive, spanning over four meters across the wall.

What we loved about working with Finnair, is that they want to take ownership of the entire travel experience. We created a tool that helps identify customer needs in different phases of the travel continuum paired together with a targeted service offering. We looked at the offering first and then assessed how it should manifest in a relevant way in all the different channels – such as the app, the various in flight entertainment systems or digital check in counters.

Make it real

With the vision in place, Finnair asked us to take the first step on the roadmap and to create the concept for their mobile app. For Finnair’s customers it was a completely new touch point with the airline.

The app is a travel companion. It can be used to book a flight, pay for parking, find travel information and keep track of travel time to the airport and waiting time at the gate. It also encourages discovery of new destinations and it is integrated with Finnair’s loyalty program. For us the app was not just an app, it was the vision brought to life.

One of the most exciting parts of the vision work was looking into the possibilities of the various In Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems and travellers using their own devices for the entire Finnair fleet. Based on the vision, Finnair asked us to create a custom IFE concept for their new flagship carrier – the Airbus 350.

This is just the beginning. Our holistic, actionable and forward-looking vision serves as a base for new services. And it is not just the individual services that are changing – the entire organization is transitioning in order to turn the vision into reality. It is very rewarding to work with an organization that shares the ambition level we have. We continue to work together with Finnair and their business partners to help further refine and enhance the travel experience and to help bring new services to life of the millions of people carried by the company’s blue wings.