Air New Zealand / Customer Experience Strategy

Aligning every aspect of an airline around the needs of its customers


How did a small national airline achieve something their larger global partners could not?


The Challenge

The Approach

Air New Zealand consists of specific business units and teams overseeing select operational responsibilities – a common dynamic in the airline industry. The organization saw an opportunity to connect each aspect of the business while simultaneously exploring the end-to-end customer experience in a strategic and organised manner.

Air New Zealand engaged ThoughtFull to lead a project to define a customer experience strategy and toolkit. We began by collating all current research across the end-to-end journey to understand what was known about the airline’s customer behaviours and customer needs. We extracted other latent needs through a series of customer design workshops, and leveraged the existing research to uncover three common customer modes which would be relevant to any part of the business.

We built the end-to-end journey model, a framework powerful enough to: plan customer-facing activities, identify new opportunities, spot cross-stage gaps and map competitive activities. We also developed a common set of tools that would help the business think about the entire end-to-end customer journey and provide a common language to promote customer-centric thinking, design, and decision-making across all of Air New Zealand’s business units.

To support the implementation of this approach across the business, ThoughtFull designed and facilitated a series of training sessions for all executives likely to use the system on a regular basis.

The Outcome

The new end-to-end journey and additional tools enabled Air New Zealand to map their efforts, helping the airline deliver value throughout the entire customer journey.

Air New Zealand can also prioritize its efforts based on the overall value to the customer – through customer experience projects, the digital slate, or continuous operational improvements.