Today’s post was written by Amel Hammouda, chief transformation officer at Air France and a member of the Air France executive committee.
Whether they’re traveling overseas for business, taking a chance on a whirlwind romance, or reuniting with old friends, passengers count on Air France to deliver an exceptional customer experience on their journeys. Every year, Air France flies upwards of 87.3 million passengers to hundreds of destinations around the world. While we are internationally recognized for the lengths we go for our customers, we are equally committed to making sure our employees have a great experience on the job.
In fact, we see a direct correlation between empowered employees and satisfied customers. This idea drives our strategic business plan, which aims to foster an innovative mindset for the benefit of our customers and our employees. This means ensuring that our employees have the right tools to contribute their ideas and enthusiasm—from unique ways to present in-flight meals to project management on an international scale. We’re building a modern, mobile workplace with Microsoft Office 365, so we can tap into the enthusiasm of our dynamic, engaged employees. Continuing to innovate great customer service will help us maintain our advantage in today’s competitive airline industry.
It’s often said that you never know who you might meet on an airplane, and this spirit of potential is also at the core of our corporate culture. As we continue to build on a culture of innovation, we know that game-changing ideas can come from anywhere in the business. With Office 365, we have tools to break down silos and leverage our collective brainpower. More than 46,000 employees use the Yammer corporate social network to share their ideas and innovate through improved collaboration for the benefit of our customers. Many of our most successful Yammer initiatives have been entirely grassroots, like the viral “I Love My Job” project that started with a single flight attendant using Yammer to share pictures and stories about her job. This grew into an incredible network of Firstline Workers who use Yammer to share best practices, tips, and tricks—innovations that we can use to take customer service to the next level.
Consistency and accuracy occur naturally in a well-connected workforce. With our cloud-based communication tools taking off in the company, it is easier for Air France employees to provide accurate answers to customers’ questions, and even anticipate their needs. The more knowledge we share across the company, the more unified we are in our approach to service, and the more reliable we are in the eyes of our customers. Today, Air France is a more interconnected, productive organization because we have the technology to communicate and collaborate effortlessly.
Dynamic communication tools like Yammer don’t just improve employee connections, they also bring tangible business wins and help the focus remain on customers. The speed at which information can spread throughout the company translates to more agile decision-making and efficiency gains. Yammer was recently used by flight attendants who encountered a problem with snack packaging on a particular route. From posts across the company, it quickly became clear that flight attendants elsewhere noticed the same frustrating defect. Within 48 hours, Air France had negotiated a refund and replacement from the supplier—a win for both flight attendants and customers.
Air France operates a complex network of flights all over the globe; distributing information across our geographically dispersed enterprise can be equally complex. Working with intelligent communication applications like Microsoft Teams helps us to connect a mobile workforce that is always on the move. Our digital champions, employees who are passionate about promoting digital culture, use Skype for Business video calls to drive adoption of our new cloud tools. My team uses Microsoft SharePoint Online for document sharing and storage. I have seen firsthand how these tools can help us transcend department boundaries and drive projects across the company.
Our strategic priorities include two main lines of action: to continuously improve the customer experience and do the same for employees. Thanks to our modern, connected workplace, we are accelerating progress in both strategic directions and we expect great synergies over the next few years.
Read the case study to learn more about how Air France uses Office 365 to improve customer service and empower employees.