The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) is the largest independent flight attendant union in the US. The organization, based in Texas, serves over 27,000 members who work for American Airlines and reside all over the world.
The nature of their profession requires members to spend a good portion of their time in transit. Members may be sitting at the back of delayed planes, waiting for flights at the airport, or riding in vans being shuttled from one place to another when they may need information. APFA, run by flight attendants themselves, fully understands the mobile nature of their membership, which is why they sought and found a better, more mobile way to engage with their members through Quiq.
“As we were evolving, so was our membership. We wanted to stay ahead of the tech curve and meet them where they are by using their favorite way to communicate.”
~Erik Harris, National Contract Chair
The Shift to Messaging
Prior to implementing Quiq, flight attendants were reaching out to AFPA primarily through phone and email. In 2018, the entire union handled over 33,000 calls spread out across 31 representatives. Calls regarding sick leave, vacation, rescheduling, and transfers are still the most common for the reps who each handle an average of 30-50 calls per day.
The organization also implemented live chat as another channel of engagement but was dissatisfied with having to switch between the live chat platform, a Facebook window, Twitter, and their own internal systems to help members
APFA chose to switch to Quiq because it allows them to serve their members on multiple platforms in one unified desktop
APFA chose to switch to Quiq because it allows them to serve their members on multiple platforms in one unified desktop. APFA leadership especially likes that reps can easily handle every incoming message because no matter how, over which channel, the flight attendant connects with APFA, it all comes into the same place and is handled the same way by the rep.
The ability to add text messaging was one of the biggest selling points to selecting Quiq. The organization’s leadership recognized there was a shift to mobile communications that was perfectly suited to their member’s on-the-go lifestyle.
The organization integrated Quiq into their existing website and customized the look with some additional coding. Afterward, they found a night to train their reps who live across multiple time zones. Reps have found the platform easy to use and intuitive, which is critical for a team that rotates out on a monthly basis. When reps return to the headquarters after weeks or months, they waste zero time relearning Quiq’s messaging platform.
To let their members know about their availability on these new channels, APFA promoted messaging multiple ways. The organization sent an email to the union’s 25,000 email subscribers, posted a message on their Facebook page, added copy to their website, and asked leadership to share the news with their respective bases. Immediately, the contact center received feedback from members who “love the convenience of being able to text in” and shared delighted messages like “OMG I’m so glad I can finally text you.”