A research was carried out on dnata which is an airline that has been witnessing a steady growth since its inception. The research looks at the travel, cargo and ground handling services. Attention has been given to the business strategies that have enabled the blossoming of this service provider. Dnata has for instance embraced the leisure, retail and corporate travels hence catering for the needs of various clients. Other travel services being offered by the company include the government travel services, marine as well as off-shore services, quality hotel and restaurant services as well as the charter flights.
The research also looks at the various customer service techniques that are being employed so as to better the services. The company has a customer care center where customers are able to call so as to inquire about the services or present their complaints. This has enabled the company to ensure customer satisfaction. There are various programs put in place to enhance customer loyalty. Such programs have been put in place to retain the current customers and attract new ones hence increasing the customer base. The organization has inbound and outbound visa services. It has also embraced e-commerce and clients are able to make bookings online hence improving efficiency.
The industry seems to be facing a number of challenges in its quest for expansion and improvement of services. Recommendations have been made in an attempt to resolve the problems and overcome some of these challenges in order to ensure that the company continues witnessing success in its operations and expansion.
Dnata is an aviation company that provides a number of air travel and cargo handling services to its clients. It is based in Dubai yet has braches in about nine countries and has about twenty one airports in total. The company has managed to increase its taskforce by employing about 7000 skilled workers. It has also embraced the most advanced technology. The airline handles approximately 40,000 passengers in a year and it has been increasing its operations internationally by employing rigorous market strategies. Customer service has been enhanced hence making dnata successful. Various cargo requirements have been well catered for by the airline.
This market research focuses on the market strategies employed to ensure the success of the airline. The research has also focused ion the various services that are offered by the industry and the manner in which service delivery is done. Various data collection and analysis methods have been used in the research. In the research, both the primary and secondary data have been used so as to look at the past and current state of the industry. Recommendations have been made so as to enable the company succeeds.
Main and Specific Objectives
The following are the objectives of the research:
- Determining the level of professionalism employed in the company’s marketing strategy.
- Determining the marketing techniques employed by dnata airlines.
- Find out the various services offered by dnata, the customer service techniques employed and the ways in which these could be improved.
- Find out about the use of technology in the company’s service delivery.
- Find out the management strategies employed. There is a look into the marketing plan employed which has been vital in ensuring that the company remains competitive.
Purpose of the Study
The research is meant to;
- Make an evaluation of the quality of products and services offered by the company.
- Determine customer satisfaction for Dnata airlines products and services.
- Determine the possibility of new products and services offered by the company becoming successful.
- Make an evaluation of the company’s image both locally and internationally.
The study is supposed to answer these questions;
- What are the products and services offered by the company to ensure customer satisfaction?
- What are the marketing strategies that the company has employed?
- What is the image of the company locally and internationally?
- What is the market potential for new products and services to be offered by dnata?
The research is both in the qualitative and quantitative form. Qualitative analysis is done by consulting secondary data like books, magazines reports and online sources written about the company and its marketing and branding strategies that have contributed to its expansion and success. Quantitative analysis on the other hand involves telephone, postal and online surveys whereby the company’s officials and the clients of the company who comment on its market strategies and branding and their effects on the customer preferences. These have been done in effort to answer the research questions.
There are various methods that have been used in the collection, analyzing and interpretation of the data.
One of the primary data collection methods employed in the research include the use of telephone survey. Calls were made to the dnata branches so as to get the facts right about the company. Calls were also made to the customers to determine the reasons as to why they preferred dnata to other companies. The method was used to find out the various marketing strategies as well as the management techniques employed. The clients were asked a number of questions some of which included;
- Why do you think this service provider has witnessed significant expansion in the recent past?
- Why do you prefer dnata airlines to the other service providers?
From the findings, it was quite evident that most of the clients preferred the company because of efficiency in service delivery and efficient customer care services. The survey was less costly. The method was also faster because the respondents were people who were on the ground or those who had used or intended to use the airline and there was no need to visit the respondents at their respective places (Allaz, 2005).
The other method that was employed is the postal survey. Questionnaires were formulated and send to the relevant respondents by mail. They were supposed to answer the questionnaires and send them back. The exercise proved to be less costly as all that was involved was the cost of preparing the questionnaires and the mailing costs. The questions were straight forward hence easy for the respondents to handle. There was no possibility of the respondents being influenced by the interviewers. Part of the questions on the questionnaires required the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers. For instance;
- Would you be willing to use the company’s services again?
- Have you used dnata airline before?
- Would you like the company to come up with more products and services for its consumers?
This technique was also employed so as get the statistics about the company. Several interactive online interviews were carried out to determine the service delivery, marketing strategies, management techniques as well as the customer service techniques used by the company in enhancing its service delivery. Social media and use of video calls were particularly used in the online survey. The staff members of the company and the clients were contacted. This method was preferred as it was less costly. The method was vital in overcoming geographical barriers. International coverage was made easier.
Secondary data was also used in the research. Various sources were consulted and this helped in the analysis and understanding of the primary data. Various books, journals and online sources were consulted so as to access prior information gathered that covers dnata Company. This technique proved to be less expensive when compared to the primary data method as it mainly involved the use of existent data. It was very efficient in covering the international activities of the company.
Dnata as a Management Provider
According to the findings, the company has been leading in travel management. The company has a 50 years experience and has linked up with other service providers so as to ensure customer satisfaction. The company has therefore been at the frontline in providing quality travel products in the Middle East. The company has advanced sales and marketing strategies, destination management, customer care services as well as well developed e-commerce services. These have been vital in improving its efficiency. Some of the travel destinations for company include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Qatar, Oman and United Arabs Emirates. The company has embraced innovation, enhanced service delivery and invested in technology. The findings also proved that the company has won a number of awards that can be attributed to its service delivery and efficiency (Carter, 2006). The company offers a range of services which suit a variety of customers.
The airline has a provision for government employees to travel. The service is cost effective and it caters for the official, diplomatic or even health travels of the UAE government employees. The airline considers the needs of local travellers, students, other official delegations and sports teams. The airline also has special services for couples on honeymoon, those on health travels, escorted tours as well as summer camps. The company also has apartment leasing and car hiring services to suit various customers some of whom might be on holiday vacations. The company has also been instrumental in helping the customers acquire international licenses.
Retail and Leisure Travel
According to the findings, it was quite clear that The Company has provisions for leisure travels particularly for those on vacations or on honeymoon. The airline has a library for various travel destinations most of which are well equipped with the appropriate leisure facilities. For those with children there are comfortable places set a side for playing. They are equipped with PlayStations for the children. The company has provisions for luxurious accommodations together with other amenities. There are provisions for weddings, fitness vacations, family get together retreats, sporting, culture breaks and safaris. The environments are well selected with some having aromatherapy blends.
The company has adopted an approach that is client based in service delivery. Travel management solution has made the booking and management for the staff easier. EMS services on the other hand have financial planning as well as control from one point to the other even easier. Some clients have personal travel advisors who help in the management and giving travel advises. They also help in the last minute changes as well as making impromptu bookings for those in the corporate world. The company has corporate travel services to aid in making arrangements for corporate travels.
Customer Loyalty Programs
The airline has programs put in place to enhance customer loyalty. Loyal customers are rewarded. The airline has special packages and a variety of services that ensure full customer satisfaction. The airline allows for rewards to be earned for those clients who use dnata credit cards to carry out their transactions. This is usually made in conjunction with the NBD bank. The customers are able to get value added benefits by using the card. Whenever the card is used, the customer gains some dnata points which can be redeemed whenever a customer needs to purchase dnata products or services. The redemption of dnata points can also be in the monetary form. The card holders are also covered under the travel insurance program. There are also various golf privileges that the cardholders are entitled to. The card holders have up to 55days interest free repayment periods for the money spent on their credit cards. They are able to make ATM withdrawals using the cards. They are also able to monitor their card transactions and balances online.
Airline and Hotel Representation
Dnata has provisions for business travels and leisure. The company has technologically advanced aircrafts that provide comfort to the travellers. The airline has employed the most recent sales, marketing and public relations services. The airline has linked up with a variety of hotels across the world to enable the customers have a number of hotels to choose from (Plunkett, 2007).
Contact Center Services
According to the research findings, the company has one of the greatest contact centers in the region. The contact center has about 150 multilingual employees who make sure that the contact center is operational for 24 hours. The number of inbound calls received in a day is about 14000 while generated outbound calls are about 10000. The in-house call center has highly qualified personal that deal with corporate and retail issues of the company. The employees are availed with a variety of data and information concerning the operations and products of the company so as to give satisfactory information to the clients’ inquiries. The clients contact the call center concerning issues of flight and hotel bookings, travel inquiries and flight cancellations.
Graphs were used in the data analysis.
The airline has been witnessing an increase in cargo handling in the recent years due to its expansion and increased efficiency in cargo and ground handling services.
Conclusions and Recommendations
According to the findings Dnata airline has employed a number of strategies that have made it possible for it to penetrate the market and remain competitive. The company has various flight products to offer the clients. The company has provisions for different kinds of flights like retail and leisure travels. It has advanced cargo handling services. The company has embraced advanced technology in its operations. Customers are for instance able to make online bookings and make their payments in advance using the dnata credit card.
It has professional staff a 24 hours multilingual call center that deals with customer inquiries or complaints. The company has also partnered with high class hotels to ensure customer satisfaction. All these have enabled dnata to have a competitive advantage over the other competitors. There is however need for the company to increase its operations. There is need to develop more branches not just in the region but in other potential markets that have not been fully exploited like Africa. The company can link up with other airlines in the remote regions of the world so as to extend its services to remote places (Wakefield, 2007).
There were a number of challenges encountered during the research.For the telephone survey method, some of the respondents were reluctant to give the required information over the phone, some of which they considered confidential. Some of the information to be given over the phone was supposed to be comprehensive hence the difficulty to express finer details over the phone was quite evident. The postal survey method had some challenges too. For instance some of the questionnaires were never returned. It was not possible to clarify the questions incase the respondents did not understand. Online surveys were prone to low respondent rate. Some of the topics could not be fully exhausted as in the case of direct observation. There was also the possibility of biasness during the response. The use of secondary data did have its own disadvantages too. Some of the information for instance could not be found while in some cases the information could not be verified, was inaccurate or outdated.
Allaz, C. (2005). History of Air Cargo and Airmail from the 18th Century. Amsterdam: Google Consultant.
Carter, T. (2006). Dubai. Chicago: Lonely Planet.
Plunkett, J. (2007). Plunkett’s Airline, Hotel & Travel Industry Almanac. Houston: Plunkett Research Ltd.
Wakefield, M. (2007). UAE: a MEED practical guide. Michigan: the University of Michigan.