There are various motives for an airport to embark on a service improvement journey. Perhaps it’s differentiation within the market, maybe it is to kick up service delivery a notch and improve the passenger experience, or another tack is to create more teamwork and efficiency within an organization to reduce costs.
At CSE, we often get inquiries from airport leaders looking for more information on how to embark on such a service improvement initiative. While each situation is different, the general concepts and approach remain the same. To this end, we have set out to provide the following "toolkit" full of advice and resources as a general starting point for those ready to start on the journey.
Perhaps it is differentiation that you are seeking. While most other items remain constant—especially in a commoditized market—people are your greatest asset and the greatest opportunity for differentiation. To derive the most success form your journey, your initiative must:
- Be consistently delivered
- Make sense for the customer
- Have the support from whole organization- verbal support, communication support, the proper tools and processes, etc.
- Be delivered by the team not because they HAVE to, rather because they WANT to.
It is imperative that a broad vision/purpose or goal is identified for your improvement effort, i.e. identify: “What will success look like?” rather than simply initiating a list of tactics. Connecting with the “why” and the broader vision will garner:
- Engaged employees
- More genuine actions
- Further development of ideas from the field
- Buy-in from the teams across a property
If you are trying to improve what you already have, to create better teamwork and greater efficiencies, then the same support and behaviors must be enacted with the internal teams that support the front-line teams. For example, a culture of service or more personalization in the field is hard to sustain when the field teams receive a different level of support from their HR Manager and Regional Manager than that which the front-line teams are required to deliver.
Take a look at these resources as a source of inspiration, or to better understand the spectrum of tools available to help your airport program thrive!
- Mystery Shopping is a method of collecting feedback about the passenger experience. Ths feedback is best used to improve employee behaviors, organization processes and overall customer service. Check out: How Mystery Shop Results Help Improve Performance
- Consulting with managers on mystery shop results is an effective method of improving manager AND employee skills. Measuring performance without taking developmental action is simply gathering numbers. Check out: Airport Retail Consulting Helps Navigate Airport Challenges
- Training managers and employees will help them develop the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in airport service delivery. Training also helps keep the message of service alive and support it's importance! Check out: Airport Concessionaire Training: The Secret To Success
All in all, we hope this information is helpful and not overwhelming. Bottom line, if you are considering embarking on an airport service improvement program, be sure to provide your teams the support, tools and knowledge they need to deliver a great passenger experience every time!