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WhatsApp as the ideal channel to increase customer comfort

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Constantly on the lookout to increase customer comfort

Like many luxury airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) is constantly on the lookout for ways to increase customer comfort. Not only in the air, but also in terms of how easily customers can reach out before and after they flew with SAUDIA. And these days, it’s pretty much all about mobile convenience. With 9 in 10 citizens owning a smartphone, the influence of social media is vast in this Middle Eastern country.

SAUDIA’s customer service manager Mansour believes the future to be bright. ‘Did you know that by 2025, our country will have over 36 million smartphone users? That’s a mobile internet user penetration of 97,1%! And its number one social media app will still be WhatsApp.’

Reaching out about seat preferences as easily as texting with friends

Back in 2018, when WhatsApp started gaining popularity in the country, Saudi’s national flag carrier immediately saw the potential of this low-key communication channel. The airline had a strong drive to be amongst the first Saudi businesses to offer WhatsApp as a customer service channel. Easier said than done. How can a company use WhatsApp to provide free, fast, good customer advice around the clock - without its service team losing control and going crazy?

A serious extension of SAUDIA’s Guest Care Center

The search was on for an expert with smart software and outstanding service. ‘When we explained our fears and wishes to the Grasp team, we felt right away that they took us seriously, would act upon our feedback and would enhance our experience with WhatsApp. So we went for it with full throttle, connecting four different WhatsApp numbers and a couple of email accounts.’

The first thing that stood out as soon as SAUDIA’s Guest Care Center started using Grasp was the overview: it was stronger and clearer than ever. Even though SAUDIA now offered an extra channel - WhatsApp - its customer service team enjoyed more satisfying working days. It took agents less time and less friction to respond to customer questions. Very quickly, the WhatsApp service grew into a serious extension of SAUDIA’s Guest Care Center. Mansour: ‘Our guests can use WhatsApp to check flights, find better seats, get help with ticket refunds, and so on.’

Things improved even further when SAUDIA started using Grasp’s chatbot function – right as COVID-19 hit the world. Despite the flood of messages about cancelled flights and ever-changing safety measures, SAUDIA’s customer service team kept control over its inbox. No messages slipped through the cracks. Average response times kept decreasing. The SAUDIA chatbot was capable of efficiently and accurately responding to simple questions, giving the Guests Care team the opportunity to focus on more complex cases.


Customer service: easier and more enjoyable

SAUDIA’s Guest Care team now solves about a million customer cases through WhatsApp each year, and WhatsApp turned into the preferred communication channel of most guests. ‘As for our agents, they’re especially thrilled that Grasp buys them time.’ They enjoy many smart Grasp features – from quick replies and labels to automatic distribution of incoming requests – and the team collaborates better than ever.

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