When rebrands go wrong

(And how to avoid the pitfalls)

Ryanair overhauls digital strategy to focus on mobile and social media

Ryanair is overhauling its digital strategy, making it easier for customers to book tickets and contact the firm if there are problems as it seeks to shake off its reputation for poor customer service. 

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The airline has identified its website, mobile platform and social media presence as three of the key areas it needs to improve. The revamp will be backed up by a new digital marketing strategy that will see Ryanair invest more in new media such as mobile and social media.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary says: “Our primary focus this winter will be to significantly invest in, and improve, the Ryanair.com website, our mobile platform and our interaction with passengers using social media.’

The changes will see the airline launch a @Ryanair Twitter account and take its charity calendar, which features bikini-clad girls, into the social media space. On mobile, the firm’s mobile app will, from October 1, be free where previously it cost €3.

Over the next few months, the Ryanair website will also be revamped. The “Recaptcha” security feature will be removed for individual passengers from October 30, while a new booking process will go live in December. A passenger registration service is set to be launched next summer to make it faster for returning customers to complete bookings.

The moves come as Ryanair faces growing criticism from both customers and shareholders over its poor customer service. While previously this hasn’t worried the firm due its strong growth, Ryanair issued its first profit warning in nearly 10 years at the start of the month as the number of people booking flights for the autumn fell.

Ryanair also came bottom in Which?’s customer service survey, performing the worst out of the UK’s 100 biggest brands. It scored just 54 per cent, well below the two next worst performers, TalkTalk and NPower, both of which scored 59 per cent.

The firm is now attempting to improve its brand perception with the digital strategy overhaul, as well as new measures such as setting up a team to respond to emails and putting an end to hefty fines for customers whose carry-on baggage is slightly too big.

“We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off. A lot of those customer services elements don’t cost a lot of money.

“It’s something we are committed to addressing over the coming year,” says O’Leary, according to The Telegraph.

Readers' comments (1)

  • As a regular Ryanair user (no other option on the route I fly to Italy) the sevice is adequate if you play by the "rules" but step outside them by a fraction and the penalties are heavy (the number of people in Ancona whose bags "dont fit" or are too heavy is always high, every flight I am on. More worrying is that the total price of flights has increased significantly year on year over the last 3 years, but that seems to slip quietly under the radar - higher prices for adequate service is much less acceptable than before....

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