Customer Service

To paraphrase Milton Berle, “If God meant man to fly he would have made it easier to get through the airport.” There is no question that airports are considered by many to be nothing more than a source of frustration and confusion, especially so since the advent of stricter security requirements following the events of 9/11. What airports choose to do about this problem is the purpose of this website.

Airports are in the business of serving the public. That is their primary, and some would argue only, responsibility. If we take that responsibility to heart, everything we would do as airport operators would, therefore, be focused on the traveling public and improving the customer experience. And improving the customer experience is not just so airports can meet their public service mandate but also because it is simply good business. I have argued in the past that the public has options when they travel. They can choose from which airport they want to begin their travel, they can choose which airport to connect through and they can, in fact, choose to conduct their business without traveling, even at the expense of face to face client contact. The airport’s goal should be to make their facility the airport of choice. To drive that point home here is some info from a recent J.D.Power & Associates survey: “Passengers who reported high levels of satisfaction with the airport tend to increase their retail spending by 45%. Passengers who report being “delighted” with their airport experience spend an average of $20.55 while those who are “disappointed” spend about $12.12.”

So, the way I view the job of the airport operator is from the “Customer Centric” standpoint. In essence, everything every department in an airport organization does should be focused on whether or not that action will improve the customer experience at their airport. Each decision made, whether in capital project development, concessions offerings, public safety, security, or airfield operations should be done with the primary customer in mind. The problem is in creating alignment among these often disparate parts of the organization.

I have spent over three decades of my life gaining experience in how airports can meet the needs of the traveling public by aligning resources and creating a customer centric organization. My new mission in life is to use that experience to help airports determine where they may be missing the mark in their efforts to serve the public and what might be done to close those service gaps.

Remember, (to borrow a quote from a past co-worker) “Customer service is not a department, it’s an attitude” and one that needs to be embraced by all employees regardless of position or department. If you would like to discuss creating a working relationship with me to help you develop your business through better customer service please contact me at timanderson.airports@gmail.com. I would be happy to work with you.