This Evening Standard story on the British Airways Know Me program started a lively internet conversation on the customer experience management and the privacy implications of this concept:
“The airline said it wanted to be able to deliver a more personal touch by researching passengers. The “Know Me” programme will use Google images to find pictures of passengers so that staff can approach them as they arrive at the terminal or plane.
BA staff will also search individual data held by the airline, including if a regular traveller has experienced problems on previous flights, such as delays, so that crew are primed to apologise.
Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at BA, said: “We’re essentially trying to recreate the feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant when you’re welcomed there, but in our case it will be delivered by thousands of staff to millions of customers. This is just the start — the system has a myriad of possibilities for the future.”
A BA spokesman added: “The most recent advancement of the system enables the British Airways team to search Google images for a photo of specific customers so they can recognise them and proactively approach them.”
What is the right balance between the customer experience considerations and the potential privacy considerations in this case?