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How would you like to travel in the future?

Article published
27.5.2015 at 06:00
Passenger reading a book at Kainuu Lounge.
We are working to develop the customer experience for flight passengers.

'At the moment, we are anticipating flight passengers' expectations in five years’ time', says Service Development Manager Juha Vasko from Finavia.

'We continue to follow trend predictions and develop our airports constantly. The aim of all this is to make travelling even more pleasant and smooth.'

Finavia has conducted development work for several years already. The experience gained from previous initiatives, such as security check enhancement projects, have encouraged us to propose and discuss ideas even when they are still in the initial stages.

'We provide and develop our services simultaneously, and thus don't even expect to come up with ready-formed, complete solutions right away', Vasko explains.

'We don't want to assume too much on our customers’ behalf, but use their feedback as a guideline to shape our services'.

We always aim to ensure we stay in touch with actual customers. A customer only takes a moment to form an opinion of his or her experience of any service.

'This means it makes more sense to study and analyse this aspect, rather than to try to figure it all out and package it up beforehand', Vasko continues.

Tracking customer paths

'Customer Experience Roadmaps' are an important part of customer experience development; they are descriptions of the 'paths' customers take through the airport. This path is divided into four main sections:

  • Passenger Communication focuses on how the information and guidance needed and desired by customers at the airport is produced.
  • Ambience describes the general atmosphere and feeling at the airport.
  • Commercial is related to the commercial services, opportunities to shop, and ways of personalising their own customer experience that passengers encounter at the airport.
  • Passenger Flow is about the smoothness and ease of navigating the airport, taking into consideration things such as utilisation of self-service functions and passenger flow guidance.

'We don't want to assume too much on our customers’ behalf, but use their feedback as a guideline to shape our services'.

Passenger experience is always a sum of many parts; therefore, we want to examine the four parts of the path both individually and all together.

Some 52,000 travellers pass through Finavia's airports every day, and different passenger groups have differing expectations and wishes for airport services.

Those going on a holiday behave differently at the airport than those who just want to get through as efficiently and quickly as possible. 

All's well when families with children are happy

'Research shows that all groups are affected by the way or degree to which the needs of any one group are met', Vasko points out.

'Everyone will notice new play areas for kids, for example, and be happy the little ones are being looked after'.

'Good service is always based on people'. 'Luckily, the personnel working at Finnish airports are extremely competent in what they do'.

In customer satisfaction development work, we can focus on analysing a specific passenger path section or passenger segment at a time. For example, at Helsinki Airport we followed ten families with children as they navigated the airport. We requested their permission for an observer to walk along and ask them questions.

'It's not always necessary to acquire a large sample, since a detailed, deep analysis of one case can be just as useful'.

'Everything we do also impacts many other things, and our challenge is to find out what exactly the impacting factor is'.

Passengers meet many members of staff at the airport, but they are not all Finavia staff – they could be Finnish customs officers or airline personnel, for instance. The entire travel experience is a composition made up of all of these meetings and their combined impression − without forgetting the various meetings online while using electronic services.

'Good service is always based on people. Luckily, the staff at Finnish airports are extremely competent in what they do'.

Finavia also closely monitors competing airports.

'Ultimately the competition is not about what or who we are, but about the image the customers form about Helsinki Airport, for example. For us, success is to be able to exceed our customers’ expectations'.

Read more about services at Helsinki Airport

Development Travel