United is Equipping Customer Service Reps with the iPhone 6 Plus
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United is expanding its relationship with Apple in hopes of better serving its customers. Earlier this year, TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig flew with United after it equipped 23,000 flight attendants with the iPhone 6 Plus in second-quarter 2015. The phones have made it easier for attendants to have access to passenger frequent flyer status and connecting flight data, in addition to necessities like employee handbooks, email access and software to process buy-on-board transactions.
Now, the carrier announced that it’s expanding its iPhone 6 Plus reach to its more than 6,000 US hub-based customer service reps by next year. By having the devices, reps will be able to print luggage tags, boarding passes and other information from anywhere in the airport. Reps will also be able to help customers with alternate flight options and other requests that allow them to give the customer attention on the go.
Following a federal investigation, United’s CEO resigned in September and since, the airline has taken initiatives to increase customer satisfaction. Steps have included appointing a new CEO, Oscar Munoz, launching a website for customers to provide feedback, allowing customer service reps to distribute electronic goodwill certificates of up to $125 and now equipping employees with various Apple products – including pilots (iPad), flight attendants (iPhone 6 Plus) and now customer service reps. (Munoz has been on medical leave after suffering a heart attack in October, but recently announced his plan to return in first-quarter 2016.)
In the future, United hopes to expand the capabilities of its custom-built iOS software features, allowing representatives to check-in passengers and complete other tasks without requiring access to a computer.
H/T: Tech Crunch