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Gaining customer knowledge in low cost airlines through text mining

Bee Yee Liau (Department of Applied Statistics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Pei Pei Tan (Department of Applied Statistics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 7 October 2014

6582

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the consumer opinion towards the low-cost airlines or low-cost carriers (LCCs) (these two terms are used interchangeably) industry in Malaysia to better understand consumers’ needs and to provide better services. Sentiment analysis is undertaken in revealing current customers’ satisfaction level towards low-cost airlines.

Design/methodology/approach

About 10,895 tweets (data collected for two and a half months) are analysed. Text mining techniques are used during data pre-processing and a mixture of statistical techniques are used to segment the customers’ opinion.

Findings

The results with two different sentiment algorithms show that there is more positive than negative polarity across the different algorithms. Clustering results show that both K-Means and spherical K-Means algorithms delivered similar results and the four main topics that are discussed by the consumers on Twitter are customer service, LCCs tickets promotions, flight cancellations and delays and post-booking management.

Practical implications

Gaining knowledge of customer sentiments as well as improvements on the four main topics discussed in this study, i.e. customer service, LCCs tickets promotions, flight cancellations or delays and post-booking management will help LCCs to attract more customers and generate more profits.

Originality/value

This paper provides useful insights on customers’ sentiments and opinions towards LCCs by utilizing social media information.

Keywords

Citation

Yee Liau, B. and Pei Tan, P. (2014), "Gaining customer knowledge in low cost airlines through text mining", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 114 No. 9, pp. 1344-1359. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-07-2014-0225

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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