“Our go to platform to train agents” - Lufthansa Group
The award for the most popular airline course at this year’s OTT’s POP Awards was won by the Lufthansa Group.
The awards are given to the course which gain the most attention minutes from agents during the year. The Lufthansa Group’s course attracted a total of 3,772 brand attention minutes in 2021 with 612 course passes and a 93 per cent pass rate. You can learn more about the Lufthansa Group airlines offer by visiting their course here.
Katherine Simmons talks to the Lufthansa Group’s Marketing Manager Valentina Taddeo about why simplicity and logical structure are key aspects of a successful launch - and how the Group uses agent feedback to improve its course.
The Lufthansa Group took the award for most popular airline course at OTT’s recent POP Awards. What do you think are the key aspects of your course which make it so popular with agents?
VT: “There are a few key aspects I would like to highlight. The first is that we try to keep it concise and to focus on the group and also highlighting the strengths of each of the airlines. We use the course as a quick reference guide for the agents, so they know where to find information in a concise way. Agents know that if they visit the course they will find the most recent information available. Our modules are updated every six months but for our Covid tab or latest news sections, the content is constantly updated with a reference date for every update so agents can see when the information was changed.”
“We also work on engagement, using competitions and use our OTT course as a training tool for the sales team when they go and see agents, as the ‘go to’ platform to train agents.”
What do you think are the most important factors to consider when conveying information to agents in a rapidly shifting travel landscape?
VT: “Simplicity is key, along with a straight message and then providing agents with extra resources if they want to increase their knowledge further. It’s also important to have a clear structure in place. So if you look at our course, it takes the agent from getting to know the airlines, then what to expect pre-boarding, what to expect onboard and what to expect as an extra. It’s set out like a passenger journey through our airlines.”
“The other key aspect is that we also ask for feedback. I encourage agents to provide feedback and then monitor this on our dashboard. That way, we can identify if there were modules agents liked or where the information wasn’t clear enough and change them. We take constant feedback from agents into account also when updating the course.”
Feedback from agents has stressed the importance of having the most up-to-date information available in one place during the pandemic. Can you describe how you use your OTT course to achieve this?
VT: “Whenever there is an important update like a change in fares or a new campaign or product announcement, it is immediately updated on our course. , I also use OTTOMail to communicate any changes, if there is a new module, for instance, or a new page on the course.”
“Once the agent has completed the course, it’s not a case of completing the course and that's done. OTTOMail forms part of our communication strategy so agents who have taken the course get the information first hand. For instance, we recently launched a course on sustainability, but agents who completed our first course were notified about the new course in advance It’s a reward for those who have completed the course to get information first hand from our side as well.”
With the global airline industry pushing towards recovery, what steps is Lufthansa taking to encourage agents and get passengers flying again?
VT: “To encourage passengers we’ve put in place more digital services developed during the pandemic, like our digital document check. Digital tools make travel easier and help passengers to be prepared when you go to the airport. We also added more capacity on existing routes and added new destinations such as our Liverpool to Frankfurt route. Since last July, Eurowings Discover has started operation to serve popular leisure destinations.
"To encourage agents to book with the Lufthansa Group, our sales team are back on the road, with face to face visits, to talk to them, making sure they have the direct contact and ensuring they know that there is someone at the Lufthansa Group willing and able to support them.”
“We also link OTT to our eXperts platform - the airline's own platform for travel agents - which contains a lot of operational information like booking and ticketing policies. We try to link the two platforms So that our agents know that they can find a training course on OTT but when it comes to more operational information, they can visit our eXperts platform for a deeper dive.”
Can you tell us about any exciting new developments for the Lufthansa Group in the near future?
VT:“On OTT, our biggest new development is our new sustainability course. We are also revamping our current course which will be launched at the end of May, not just for the UK but for the Nordics as well.”
“In terms of new developments in general for the airlines, the new Swiss Premium Economy, will be coming up on more intercontinental routes. Then we have the new Liverpool-Frankfurt route and the addition of new fuel efficient aircraft to the Lufthansa Group fleet to help us reach our sustainability goals.”