Service design for Copa Airlines on resolution managment

Designit was tasked with exploring new opportunities to enhance the future customer experience for Copa Airlines' passengers, from booking through to their final destination. As the project lead and service designer, I organized all design activities according to the provided project brief. Various designers and researchers joined the project as needed.

Copa Airlines aimed to obtain a detailed understanding of their customers' preferences, needs, and wants, and to identify gaps in product and service delivery within these segments. This project primarily focused on frequent fliers, as they are returning customers who account for a significant portion of the revenue. Given the necessity to implement results within the context of Copa’s existing business model, brand, and values, we did not consider changes to the company’s identity, fleet, or aircraft configuration, but rather focused on service delivery.

Competitor flights

The initial activity involved conducting four competitor flights with Avianca, American Airlines, Latam, and Spirit to understand the competitive landscape and its main differentiators. These flights varied from short to long hauls, day to night flights, and from business to economy class. All flights were documented with comments and pictures at the most relevant touchpoints of the travel journey.

Gaining qualitative insights from customer interviews

We conducted 11 qualitative interviews with Copa customers, which took place in Panama City, San José, and a few online. Each interview lasted 2 hours, structured around an introduction, the Copa travel journey, and pre- and post-flight experiences. All pain points and gain points were consolidated and laid out in a journey map of a Copa flight.

Mystery passenger flights

While being in Latin America ourselves to conduct on-site interviews with customers, we took the opportunity to take a few Copa flights ourselves to gain firsthand experience that we could compare with the experiences customers reported.

Research synthesis and workshop

After completing all research activities, we looked at all the data collected at once—from customer interviews, competitor flights, and also stakeholder interviews—to find connections and similarities. All insights were presented and discussed in an in-person workshop in our Munich office.

With all insights laid out along the travel journey, we discussed with Copa how they all relate to each other and started consolidating them into groups.

Turning insights into opportunity areas

From the journeys and passengers' pain points, we created opportunity areas that would have the biggest impact on passenger satisfaction.

Ideating within opportunity areas

Together with Copa, and based on the opportunity areas, we first drafted a set of "How Might We" questions before coming up with possible solutions, which we later grouped into 3 main concept areas.

Mapping ideal future journey

We also laid out these ideas in an ideal future journey as well as individual journeys for the personas, highlighting their distinct needs.

Some of the ideas created in the previous phase were specific to certain personas. We laid out single screens or short flows along their journey to visualize initial solutions.

Consolidating concepts into design initiatives

While the final deliverable of the project was an interactive prototype for one particular situation, we identified many more areas along the journey that need improvement. These were documented in opportunity areas and concrete design initiatives (briefs) and can be pursued further by Copa beyond this project engagement.

Vision prototyping

While this project revealed many opportunities for improvement, we eventually wanted to tell the story through a fundamental case: an irregular scenario of a delayed and canceled flight.