A year after the highly successful launch of Delta's proprietary handheld Nomad device to help gate agents and red coats deliver faster, more personalized solutions for customers from the palm of their hands, the airline is deploying 1,000 more devices to nearly 40 domestic and international locations. The 2019 expansion will feature enhanced functionality and expand the reach of employees using the tool to more than 2,500, benefiting countless more customers along the way.
Adding to existing functionality like checking in and boarding customers, and assigning or changing seats, the Nomad now allows agents to verify passports for international customers via laser scanning.
A collaborative effort between Airport Customer Service, IT and with regular feedback from front line employees, this latest development is part of Delta's strategy to consistently grow the Nomad's capabilities, creating an exponentially powerful tool for employees to assist customers anywhere in an airport at any time. The airline is also expanding the proprietary tool beyond its domestic focus where agent responsibilities become increasingly complex when assisting international travelers.
"The Nomad tool is designed to empower our employees to provide meaningful help to customers in the concourse, instead of asking customers to walk to a help desk or gate, stand in line and wait for another occupied employee to assist," said Greg Forbes, Director — Airport Customer Service Operations, Above-Wing. "Matching the needs of the customer to the capability of the employee at any given moment is the type of subtle, but powerful service experience we want to create with the Nomad."
Nomad is the product of an idea conceived between the Hangar, Delta's global innovation center focused on improving customer and employee experiences, and Airport Customer Service to create a mobile, more personal service device with user-friendly features for employees.
What separates the Nomad's award-winning capability from other agent mobility tools is its integration into Delta's core system, SNAPP, which enables employees with an extensive adeptness to assist customers. Aside from verifying travel documents, re-booking flights and changing seat assignments, the Nomad's current functionality also includes:
- Bag checking and gate checking a customer's luggage, as well as real-time bag tracking to pinpoint a customer's luggage throughout the travel journey.
- Viewing the Flight Status Dashboard for flight information, allowing greater communication and connectivity across the front line.
- A Google translation app to reduce language barriers between agents and travelers from all backgrounds.
Employee feedback regarding the Nomad's functionality has been overwhelmingly positive, with Luiz Condez, GRU-based Customer Service Agent remarking on its usefulness during the boarding process: "All the level agents and Operation Station Managers are in awe with the boarding speed using Nomads."
With 550 Nomad devices already deployed around Delta's system, the next batch will roll out to gate agents and red coats throughout the first half of 2019, leading up to the summer travel season.
"The Nomad was developed by Delta people for Delta people with the goal of empowering our agents to step out from behind the podium to deliver unparalleled face-to-face customer service. By providing this flexibility, our people now have a closer proximity to our passengers and the ability to generate many more meaningful interactions," said Gareth Joyce, S.V.P. — Airport Customer Service. "With continuous feedback from our customers, in partnership with our team, we are committed to evolving the technology and adding new, innovative features that will help enhance and build on our industry-leading operational reliability and customer service."
The Nomad device is among the latest innovation in employees' tools and to enhance the customer experience at Delta. Over the past year, Delta has led the industry on a number of customer solutions like replacing ID checks throughout the travel ribbon with fingerprint scanning, biometric-based self-service bag drop, RFID baggage handling, real-time bag tracking and auto check-in via the Fly Delta mobile app, more efficient and high-tech automated screening lanes and a groundbreaking app that helps Delta pilots avoid turbulence for a more comfortable flight.