United Airlines Moves to Mobile and Agents of the World Rejoice

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Last year, United Airlines found itself last among the national carriers in customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. This year it moved up two spots. To quicken that momentum, United announced last week that it was giving an iPhone 6 to each of its 6,000 customer service representatives at U.S. airports. The phones will be running custom United apps that will enable agents to print new boarding passes for customers or baggage tags for people who check bags at the gate. While they won’t be able to rebook passengers (for now anyway) they’ll be able to look up other flight options. The plan for United is to eventually empower their agents to be able to perform just about anything for a customer that they can at the counter or gate desk.united_airlines

Arming the workforce with mobile capabilities helps serve the customer on their terms. Some retailers like The Gap have deployed line busting methods to give customers the opportunity to make purchases or exchanges on the store floor without having to wait in or get in line. Look at what car rental companies do to help speed your return: check you out as soon as you step out of the car. Mobile enablement shortens the time when a customer first realizes they have an issue needing resolution, and the first contact by a company to help them take care of it.

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