Accelerating Business Outcomes In The Experience Economy

Bharti Maan and Kiran Srirama

The aviation industry’s refueling statistics are startling. To help the world fly smoothly, the large aviation fuel providers:

  • Serve 1,000 airport locations operating globally
  • Refuel an aircraft an average of every 20 seconds
  • Pump almost 60 million liters of Jet A-1 fuel per day on average into aircraft wings

From the private pilots to the largest global airlines, the fuel providers earn the loyalty of their customers by creating value through the safe and timely supply of high-quality aviation fuels and a comprehensive range of high-performance aviation lubricants and fluids.

To excel in a highly competitive business, executives must own all dimensions of experience, identify experience gaps, and act on them. Experience evolves from all aspects of a business. Gaps around customer complaints, employee turnover, and product dissatisfaction must be addressed.

Rapid shift to e-fueling

Time is of the essence in fueling operations, as any delays lead to delayed flights and hefty fines and penalties for the airline.

E-fueling enables real-time interactions between airliners, jet fuel providers, and plane agencies on the tarmac. Fuel orders, fueling milestones, and summaries are exchanged electronically between the pilot cockpit and ground operations. This results in faster flight turnarounds, reliable fuel accounting, touchless fuel ticketing operations, and integrated billing settlement.

Power of experience management (XM) in aviation

Customer satisfaction is an important KPI in business. Pilot and refueler handshakes at the tarmac provide an excellent baseline to capture the interaction experience. Refuelers increase their efficiency and reliability towards ensuring best-in-class service excellence while airlines reduce refueling time for a faster turnaround.

Collecting fueling experience from pilots and airline staff in real-time is the key to experience management (XM), and this can be achieved via simple surveys at the end of each fueling operation, while airplane personnel are still on the ground and the experience is fresh in their mind. The survey can be sent over various channels in order to scale the feedback, and features like drill-down per question and prompting for additional questions can be added to measure the pilots’ experience in aggregated ways.

screenshot of a mobile experience for fuel management for an airline

Aviation refueling needs tools that help to capture experience data across key dimensions – brand, customer, employee, product – and combine it with operational data to provide a comprehensive view of a brand’s operations and perception and trigger action. For example:

  • Airline pilot and ground operations feedback reveals delays due to refueler activities (X); merging this with the availability of gate/stand information (O) shows areas for improvement and gaining efficiency to fueling at that site.
  • Ground operations feedback reveals fueling delays due to quality concerns (X) on certain sites and days, and merging fuel batch numbers (O) can reveal problems in the supply chain.
  • Bringing together the pilot and airline ground staff feedback (X) (such as fueling quality, accuracy, time adherence, safety, and smooth electronic sign-off) and operations data (O) (such as supply chain execution, order and contract, customer service conversation, and pricing) helps fuel providers develop enormously valuable actionable insights.
comparing experience data against operational data

In the real world, the survey below enabled some insightful business outcomes.

X (Experience) + O (Operational) = Insightful Business Outcome
Experience data, such as refueling efficiency, received an average rating of 3/5 (indicating average experience) for an airport. + Operational data, such as the flight schedule containing advanced information, is found to be not always available or reliable.

•       Stand

•       Arrival time

•       Quantity

= Initiate operational improvements and win customer satisfaction around efficiency, leading to longer and more rewarding contracts with customers.
Experience data, such as fueling accuracy, received a rating of 5/5 (top score) on average for an airport. + Operational data, such as airline/flight, has been reliable on specific routes.

•       Fuel order

•       Fuel milestones

•       Fuel summary

= Fuel companies and re-fuelers are reliable and accurate on specific routes. This is a unique engagement point, meaning future contracts can be negotiated to keep the customer satisfaction index consistent and use insights to improve performance at other sites as well.
Experience data, such as fueling quality, received a rating of 4/5 (good but not excellent) on average for airport. + Operational data, such as Jet A-1 fuel batch numbers from an inbound refinery and specific gravity, are reasons for concern = Initiate root cause analysis (RCA). Investigate stock sources’ quality mechanism and replenishment position; create batch monitoring along the logistics supply chain; and possibly set up auto-stock replenishment from trusted fuel sources. Improve overall supply chain activity.

For example

Volkswagen Group Australia could finally deliver actionable insights to dealers, thanks to real-time insights with customizable dashboards and access. They can also collect customer and employee feedback on the same platform. In the future, Volkswagen Group Australia will use it to predict and deliver what customers expect from the customer experience at every touchpoint – buying, driving, and owning.

JetBlue gained total control over all phases of customer experience program management. With the ability to combine relational, front-office data (brand purchase drivers) with transactional, back-office data (experience and satisfaction) into a centralized hub, JetBlue gained the ability to easily pinpoint their biggest impact areas and make immediate, impactful changes. JetBlue found that:

  • 82% of their passengers preferred cheaper ticket prices over free bags
  • Dissatisfaction among Philadelphia customers was due to the lack of shops and amenities open early in the morning
  • The security interview process required at the Lima, Peru, airport was leading to negative remarks about the company

For more insight on using the X’s and O’s to your advantage, read our “Winning In The Experience Economy” series.


Bharti Maan

About Bharti Maan

Bharti is the director of Business Transformation at SAP, architecting and mentoring digital transformation projects for key and strategic accounts of SAP. She is a thought leader and technology champion for disruptive technologies of cloud, data analytics, digital twins, AI, IoT, cognitive intelligence, and RPA. Her team ensures alignment to business goals by defining appropriate strategies and ensuring that “the rubber meets the road.”

Kiran Srirama

About Kiran Srirama

Kiran Srirama is a Chief Architect within the Business Transformation Services group at SAP, helping address businesses challenges in the energy and natural resources industry with innovative and agile digital solutions. He played a significant role in development and deployment of SAP solutions across companies, helping them perform well in the challenging energy business environment and helping transform energy companies into the new dimension.