An airport’s DNA: Developing a vision, internal storyline, and service concepts for the optimal passenger experience

Guest Author by Guest Author | Nov 27, 2019

Written by Desley Kemper, Aviation Consultant, To70

Passengers in charge of their own journey

Technological advancements to improve the passenger experience at airports are often focused on creating a more personalized passenger journey. Airports make significant investments related to these advancements to gain a competitive edge and ensure customer loyalty.

However, while passengers are increasingly more involved in their airport experience, they are still required to interact with airport personnel at various touchpoints within the airport, making those mandatory interactions all the more important.

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For example, the shift from counter check-in to self-service check-in facilities has been well-received by passengers at major airports. This is mainly because it continues to be in line with regular customers’ preference for autonomy. While this shift has improved efficiency and the customer experience, it does however come with a trade in; mandatory interaction points with airport personnel now bare more weight in how their airport experience is rated.  

Customer experience as part of an airport’s DNA

As the DNA in our bodies are subject to continuous change, the passenger experience element within an airport’s DNA is also evolvoing over time. Shifts in how passengers might rate their passenger experience is something airports and their stakeholders need to continue to embrace. Developing an inspiring vision, internal storyline, and service concepts is key to effectively handle this shift.

Embracing such shifts begins by creating an inspiring vision, which includes the passenger experience at the heart of the matter. This vision should translate into an internal storyline: “Who do we want to be as airport X?”  An internal storyline creates positive energy and pride amongst staff, which often translates into positive attitudes and behaviour, or in other words, good service concepts from which the passenger will benefit.

Keeping it alive

However all of these elements would be useless without inspiring leadership. All leaders must inspire their colleagues on a daily basis to keep the service concepts alive and operational. Leaders are the role models who motivate, stimulate, navigate and should lead by example.

Facing the facts

Airports of today are facing a significant shift in the passenger experience. Technological advancements and the evolution of passengers being more involved in their own journey results in the passenger experience becoming highly dependent on the interaction with airport personnel. Developing a vision, internal storyline and service concepts will be key to improve passenger experience with respect to the airport’ unique DNA.

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Desley Kemper, Aviation Consultant at To70, has worked in multi-disciplinary project teams solving today’s challenges for airports, governmental bodies, airlines, ANSP’s among others. Desley and the team at To70 make use of inventive problem solving techniques to optimize the passenger process, improve the customer experience for staff and passengers at airports.

To70, a leading aviation consultancy with offices around the world, advises on how to optimize the passenger process and improve the customer experience at airports.

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