Self-service technologies, such as common use self-service kiosks (CUSS) and online/mobile platforms, are ever more frequently being used across the civil aviation industry.
This study intends to demonstrate that the benefits of such technologies go well beyond immediate corporate savings, as they create – in an increasingly more technology dependent, and more technology ready society – a new paradigm for customer satisfaction, new company confidence models, as well as higher customer loyalty within the civil aviation industry context.
Empirical tests utilising questionnaire survey data collected online from airline passengers and quantitative observation research conducted at London Heathrow Airport, alongside the qualitative data obtained from an open-ended interview with a senior airline manager, will enrich and guide the study discussion. The validity of the empirical tests was assessed through a consistent review of the literature and through discussions with academic experts and professional stakeholders.
It is fair to say that both hypotheses presented: – (H1), the passenger perceives CUSS services as having improved their aviation customer experience, and (H2), CUSS technology contributes to a higher rate of airline customer retention – are supported by the results obtained in this study. The customer interaction with self-service technologies and CUSS kiosks generate strong feelings of customer “empowerment” which leads to higher customer satisfaction and fidelity.