So how can an airport increase its rankings in ASQ and other surveys? One of the airports that Flagship services recently underwent a two-year effort to improve its customer satisfaction ratings. They began by concentrating on the basics, making sure the terminal is always clean and well maintained and ground transportation to and from the airport is well organized and convenient. Keeping busy facilities such as restrooms clean can be a challenge unless services are calibrated to the flight schedules at each gate. The condition of carpeting and decorative floors such as terrazzo also provide visual clues as to whether the airport is well maintained. If the airport comes up short in those areas, passengers immediately report what they’ve seen on social media.
Airports with an excessive number of video screens and public address announcements can seem frenetic to passengers who may already be stressed out by having to go through security and wait for their flight. Some terminals are painted with soothing colors to provide a more serene atmosphere.
Passengers’ impressions of the airport are also shaped by every human interaction. This includes not just airport staff, but also many non-airport employees such as concessionaires, TSA staff, airline employees, taxi/rideshare drivers, and vendors such as janitorial staff. The goal is to treat passengers like guests in a fine hotel and encourage every person providing a service at the airport to listen to passengers and provide them with the answers they need. Everyone who interacts with passengers is part of the overall customer service team and must take responsibility for creating positive impressions.
Many travelers prefer to minimize the number of human interactions while being processed through the airport, so airports are working to automate the check-in process as much as possible, as well as moving TSA checkpoints in order to decrease lines. Automation will also have a major impact on the passenger experience in the future, from automated baggage handling to self-driving buses.
Ultimately, every aspect of the customer experience matters. Upon completion of their two-year customer experience enhancement program, the airport mentioned above achieved a significant increase in its customer satisfaction rankings, as well as significant increases in aviation and non-aviation related revenues.