As the Head of Digital Enterprise at Virgin Atlantic, it’s no surprise that Neil Letchford flies on the airline quite often. He’s mostly successful at keeping a low profile. Sometimes, though, he runs into traveller who recognise him. Or maybe it’s the ID lanyard he’s left on by accident in the security line.
Neil had one such moment with two passengers flying to Manchester. Describing it, he says, “I immediately turned on that brand ambassador role. I knew the type of aircraft they were flying on, the 747. I could talk to them about the experience they were going to have.”
After a discussion about Virgin Atlantic’s new aircraft, the long-time passengers let Neil off easy for his not-so-subtle brand loyalty.
This is what Steven Radford, the Digital Operations Manager at Virgin Atlantic, calls “being red on the inside, red on the outside.” Red on the inside means aligning values around how to better benefit their customers. Red on the outside means making sure customers receive the experience they’ve come to expect from Virgin Atlantic. Whether it’s interacting through the website, in person at the airport or in-flight, that experience should feel personal.
To make this a reality, Virgin Atlantic needed to rethink their digital strategy. The small teams working on product capabilities needed to integrate and automate their customer data. Breaking these silos would give their customers a seamless experience. As Neil explains this vision: “We want to build that experience across the entire user journey. We want to build ourselves fully end-to-end and become
the most-loved travel company.”