Customer satisfaction quadruples at Virgin Atlantic

Data processing speeds reduce by 80% as this multinational airline introduces an automated forms capture solution, gaining access to customer feedback from around the globe in just 36 hours.


  • Automatic data capture solution introduced
  • Data entry costs eliminated
  • Faster availability of performance data
  • Four-fold increase in customer compliments
  • Customer complaints reduced by 70%

Background information

Virgin Atlantic Airways, founded in 1984, has grown rapidly to become one of the UK’s largest airline carriers and now serves 31 destinations worldwide.

Well-known for pioneering many service innovations and setting new standards for the airline industry, Virgin Atlantic continues to expand. But despite their growth the airline still remains customer focused, with an emphasis on value for money, unique offerings and high-quality service.

Monitoring in-flight service

Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to providing consistently high levels of customer service is routinely monitored with a flight performance report form. Data gathered from these forms is used for feedback, motivating and rewarding cabin staff and identifying candidates for fast-track promotion. It also highlights areas for improvements as and when they occur.

These forms were being completed at the end of each flight, posted to the Virgin flight centre, and the information manually keyed into Virgins performance management system by full-time data entry operators. Once manually entered, this electronic data was used for performance analysis.

Within a year of operating this manual process the backlog of unprocessed forms had reached two months, therefore significantly reducing the validity and relevance of the information. As a result, Virgin Atlantic identified the need for an automated data capture process that would increase the data conversion speed and usability of their report forms.

An automated data capture solution

Following a review of their current process, we initially suggested a redesign of their existing four-page form. The length was reduced from four pages to one, reducing completion speeds and ensuring only the relevant information was collected.

Using an open based standard data capture solution, all completed forms are no longer manually entered. Instead, they are now scanned at the Virgin flight centre and the data is automatically extracted and deposited into Virgin’s performance management system.

The results a year on

With a new automated process, data is now extracted and verified within 1.5 hours, reducing processing time by over 80%. Data from each form is now analysed within three days of the flight completion as opposed to the previous two-month lead time.

The more efficient solution has also had a significant impact on customer feedback. Compliments quadrupled and complaints reduced by over 70% illustrating the clear benefits of dealing with customer services issues more promptly.

A positive impact was also felt by employees, with the business able to offer staff ongoing personal development training based on performance levels. This positive effect on employee morale will continue to drive Virgin Atlantic’s delivery of world class customer service.

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