Airport Customer Journey

In recent years, customer service in the airport has become a necessity rather than an accessory and the industry as a whole is striving more and more to improve the passenger journey from check-in to lift-off and not just in the air!

The airport’s main function when it comes to customers is to facilitate the safe and secure journey prior to flight through the check-in process as well as security procedures. BUT! It has become significant to airport performance and income to drive the customer experience. Ongoing customer service surveys have helped to highlight the downfalls and address the challenges airport teams face and some have even created Customer Service Committees/Associations to partner with other stakeholders internally and externally to really make a difference.

Benefits to driving passenger experience…

  • Increased spend – it has been proven that a happy customer is more likely to spend their money!
  • Satisfied tenants – increased spend makes for a more satisfied tenant which not only increases income from turnover rent but is also handy when it comes to lease renewals!
  • Free PR – if a passenger has had a seamless journey or a particularly positive experience, they will spread the word.
  • Brand partnerships – airlines, retailers, leisure operators and service providers are more inclined to collaborate with airports with a positive reputation in the market – supply and demand!
  • Loyalty – increased likelihood of a return visit – give your passengers a reason to come back!

A combination of the above will no doubt lead to an increase in overall asset value and commercial profitability of the airport – so what initiatives can we implement to ensure we are really striving to exceed passenger expectations?

Initiatives

  • Complimentary services and products
  • Interactive and engaging events
  • Complimentary upgrades
  • Social media campaigns
  • Competitions
  • Kids clubs
  • Increased leisure offering in concession tenant mix
  • Mystery passengers – to assess customer service offered by concessionaire staff as well as airport teams and service provider contractors

The enhanced awareness of the customer and their needs has really shaken up the way airports go about their day to day operation. The increased service and need to exceed passenger expectations has no doubt had a positive effect on numbers; number of flights, passengers and most importantly, income!

It’s not just about the journey in the air… the ground is where the real experience starts!

Alex Rowbottom, Divisional Head of Destination Management, Foundation Recruitment

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