The experience of every customer visiting our airports is comprised of three components: processes, services, and facilities. They all influence each other and any changes in one are felt in all.
Even though every customer experience is individual and is formed in a moment, other people, such as airport staff and fellow passengers, impact it. Additional factors to keep in mind are expectations and impressions related to earlier experiences.
Schedules and timing are a challenge specific to airports.
'We must be able to offer a good customer experience within half an hour to our busiest customers, and within a couple of hours to the majority of our visitors. This means that the timeframe available to us is very limited', points out Customer Experience Manager Johanna Metsälä from Finavia.
Development based on research
In building the customer experience, Finavia utilises customer surveys and feedback, along with more targeted research projects on the functionality of service providers or security checks, for example.
'We use research results as a basis for testing and developing services. We often cooperate with airline and shipping agency representatives; after all, we do serve the same customer', Metsälä continues.
However, the same customer does not mean the needs of customers are the same.
Something for everyone
Most of Helsinki Airport’s flight passengers are after unique and memorable airport experiences; they reserve time for shopping and may treat themselves to a glass of champagne.
The second largest passenger group is those travelling for work, and they appreciate the efficiency of processes and opportunities to maximise the time available.
For younger frequent passengers, the digital world via Wi-Fi comes first.
The fourth group could be defined as passengers whose priority is safety, often mothers with children.
'We must be able to provide positive experiences to all types of passengers without clashes between them. This is why we have a separate security check line for families with kids, for example', Metsälä explains.
Three tests underway
This year Finavia has initiated three test projects to improve customer services.
At Helsinki Airport passengers can not only enjoy art exhibitions in the gate area, but also spend their waiting time in a more inspiring ambience.
Oulu Airport has implemented a new kind of sound environment in the passenger bridge between the terminal building and aeroplane.
'We then use the tested ideas in the development of our airports by including those found to be good in the planning of Helsinki Airport terminal expansion, for example', Metsälä states.