Delta testing new customer survey system for quicker fixes

Ever wonder what happens to the survey responses customers submit to a company about the service they received?

The highs and lows of airline service generate plenty of opinions, and Delta Air Lines is trying to make better use of the hundreds of thousands of "free form" customer comments it receives from surveys, with the use of new software. The Atlanta-based airline aims to mine the comments for trends or themes by categorizing comments by topic and sentiment using "text analytics."

Since July, Delta has been testing customer survey software from Palo Alto-based Medallia and says with the new format it has seen response rates double -- allowing for more comprehensive results. The airline plans to expand the surveys across its system in early 2016.

Old survey e-mail
New survey e-mail

In a world where Uber customers can rate their driver after each ride, the gap between employees and customers' comments about their service is narrowing.

Every Delta employee can access feedback from customers, the airline said.

Delta has revamped 20 different surveys it uses, asking for feedback on everything from flight attendant service to boarding to baggage claim. It also has surveys to ask about the condition of the airplane cabin and how its service was when a flight is overbooked or delayed, depending on the customer's situation.

Customer feedback has already led to changes in the airline's food and beverage program, Delta said.

About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.