Delta aims to reign supreme in NPS customer service metrics

Delta Air Lines continues to beat the drum for its favourable net promoter score (NPS), touting the progress it has made in that metric during a short period of time.

During the last couple of years, the airline has regularly highlighted its progress in increasing its NPS. In late 2017 Delta’s NPS was 41.5% compared to the 20% level the company posted in 2011. Its average NPS in 2018 was 44%, which was roughly a three point increase from 2017.

Delta CFO Paul Jacobson recently told analysts and investors at the Cowen and Company Global Transportation Conference that “we continue to see Net Promoter Scores in the mid 50s, which is a far cry from where we were just several years ago when we were kind of in the mid-teens….”.

In early 2019, Delta CEO Ed Bastian explained that Delta’s NPS was averaging roughly 50%, which was a seven point increase year-on-year.

Mr Jacobson explained Delta wanted to ensure it was the leader in NPS for customer service “because ultimately that’s what we wanted to do, is to drive that revenue premium. And we’ve done that very successfully…”.

Previously, Delta had stated its ultimate NPS target is around 50, and that once its domestic score reaches that target, the company would evaluate the cost benefits of continuing to grow its net promoter metrics.

It remains to be seen if Delta is still evaluating the costs associated with elevating its NPS, but the airline’s performance in that metric continues to climb, which is not the case for some of its competitors.

Delta is embracing technology developments to help enhance the customer experience and deliver efficient operations through its blueprint for the future, driving industry change in international travel with biometrics.

Since Delta launched the first biometric terminal in the US in 2018, the airline has expanded to four new markets in less than a year, making travel through the airport easier and less stressful for those who choose to use the option.

It now offers a curb-to-gate biometric experience in Atlanta for its international travellers using Hartsfield-Jackson International airport and a similar process is being rolled out at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County airport. Biometric boarding procedures are already available there as well as in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.

Delta says a recent, third-party customer insight research at Concourse F at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International revealed that 70% of passengers found the curb-to-gate facial recognition experience appealing after travelling this way. This is in line with market-based testing which shows 72% of travellers prefer facial recognition to standard boarding.

Delta has been testing biometrics for over three years – starting with optional facial recognition boarding tests in Atlanta, Detroit and New York (JFK International) with US Customs. In addition, Delta tested a self-service biometric bag drop at Minneapolis/St. Paul for international customers. It has also tested biometric boarding at Ronald Reagan Washington National airport and has launched optional biometric check-in for all domestic Delta Sky Clubs, facilitated by Delta Biometrics.