Smarter Commerce gets Personal.......... At United Airlines
Martinr 100000PCGH Visits (2608)
Smarter Commerce, up to just recently, has been kind of a nebulous term to me. Hard to actually define. In effect, it is using up to date new tools, such as mobile technology, social technologies, analytics, and cloud technologies to build applications that a few years ago were unheard of, or probably impossible to construct due to lack of computing power or tools to execute them.
I recently experienced "smarter commerce" first hand, which brought home to me the power of these new applications and why they are so important. My interaction with "smarter commerce" was via United Airlines. The Airline industry has made a lot of recent strides to improve service and customer satisfaction by using smarter commerce type applications.
In my situation I was scheduled for an air trip to Rochester NY. I received the normal email message 24 hours prior to departure to check in. I did this on line, and completed printing of boarding passes etc. At that point, I thought my interaction with United was complete until the following day at the baggage drop off. However, late that afternoon, I got a mobile text message addressed to me from United on my Samsung 4 Galaxy. United informed me that my flight that I had checked in for to Washington DC was cancelled due to mechanical problems. It also directed me on the spot to a UAL site to choose a replacement combination of flights AND seats to reach my destination at around the same time. I was able to complete this in a short time and actually book a replacement flight via Chicago that got me to Rochester 45 minutes earlier. So I went to the airport the next day, with booked flights, seats and no issues. I tried to imagine this trip maybe a few years ago. I would have arrived at the airport to check in with boarding passes for a flight that was cancelled, stood in line for minutes if not hours getting new bookings, and of course been delayed hours if not days due to lack of available alternatives at the later time. So United Airlines, by using a little data analytics, and mobile technology had taken a potentially bad customer sat situation and turned it into a positive. A very powerful business case.
Smarter Commerce allows companies to put the customer at the center of the process, instead of the company at the center. It anticipates, via analytics and an extension of core system data, and uses mobile and social tools to allow optimization and real time action to deal with business problems, that even just several years ago, were impossible to deal with. Smarter Commerce is....., your customer in context.