Hawaiian Airlines officials had been working with LivePerson, Inc., a leading provider of cloud mobile and online business messaging solutions, for the past year on its live chat program and they saw text messaging as a natural progression to spark more customer engagement.

LivePerson powers a new mobile messaging option at Hawaiian Airlines, giving travelers a simpler and faster way to connect with the airline. Two-way SMS messaging is an innovative and low-stress solution for passengers to receive personal customer service assistance, rather than the industry-standard voice call and IVR tree.

Until now, carriers have generally offered one-way texting–from the airline to the customer, without the ability to reply–which they use to send travelers flight updates, check-in times, gate changes, and other alerts. Two-way communication improves the guests’ experience by allowing them to respond to texts, at their leisure, rather than call a reservations desk.

With this new offering, Hawaiian Airlines customers can communicate with the airline the same way they prefer to communicate with family and friends, through SMS text messaging. As with all text messaging, the system allows multiple conversations to take place over time in one thread, with the history always accessible by scrolling backward. Instead of sitting on hold waiting for a representative, travelers can simply message the airline, put their phone away, and wait for a push notification when one of Hawaiian’s customer care advisors responds.

Tracy Behler, senior director, online experience at Hawaiian Airlines, told Loyalty360 that the airline had been working with LivePerson for more than a year.

“It was a natural progression to offer text messaging as a way to serve our guests,” Behler explained. “Our goal was to learn about how guests use this channel and if it improved their experience and overall satisfaction with us. A unique thing about this channel is the convenience of it. Guests can send us a quick text message during or in-between meetings at work, or while waiting for their kids at soccer practice. They are able to multitask and do other things and get help from Hawaiian Airlines at the same time without having to set aside time to make a phone call.”

Behler said airline officials have noticed a shift in consumer behavior away from voice to messaging.

“So we believed that in time they would want to interact with us in that way,” she said. “We decided to proactively offer SMS as another option for guests to reach us. The feedback from guests we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive. They like the convenience of being able to get quick answers to their questions on their own time and without having to call to do it. We take pride in offering the best airline service and the Aloha spirit to and throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and we believe in continual improvement of our service offerings. We understand that there are parts of traveling that can be stressful, and our goal is to make the travel experience as easy and smooth as possible. SMS is another great resource for customers to use that will enable them to get their travel questions answered quickly.”  

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