Airport Customer Accreditation Experience
Customer experience has become a catchall concept but remains nonetheless an important element of any service provider’s operations. Today, airports are more than just the place from which an airplane takes off. They have become destinations, offering passengers unique experiences as never before. These experiences not only shape customers’ expectations, but also affect their assessment and judgement of subsequent experience. In order to help airports promote service excellence given the rise of the importance of customer experience in the airport industry, ACI has developed the first Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme, which offers a common definition and framework for customer experience management.
What is Accreditation ?
Accreditation is a globally recognized structured system that allows airport management to achieve the highest level of customer experience at their airport. ACI developed this first and only customer experience accreditation in aviation industry, in order to deliver a better service to its member airports.
Why is customer experience important for an airport ?
Sometimes, passengers are not satisfied despite airports’ efforts to remove pain-points with each step of the customer journey. As the customer’s satisfaction is closely connected to their experience, which includes expectations as well as feelings and emotions, it is not enough to increase a customer’s satisfaction without managing the customer experience continuously. Given the ever-increasing importance that passengers place on their airport experience and strong competition in attracting more passengers, airports need to effectively manage the customer experience.
Why be accredited ?
Accreditation is a visual recognition for passengers and the industry confirming the enhancements airports are making to deliver better satisfaction in the area of customer experience. It is something that airports can publicize and it shows passengers and stakeholders that the airport aims to provide the best experience possible.
How does it work ?
Similar to receiving a medal in the Olympics, accreditation can only be earned not purchased. There are 5 levels of accreditation. Each level is structured around domains of management practices and builds on the level before it. Each accreditation level is unique and meaningful and should be celebrated as a significant achievement. The goal of airport customer experience management is not to complete the last level, it is to evolve, excel and learn throughout the journey.
At Level 1, Customer experience is an airport priority that is communicated internally and externally. The airport is exploring customers’ expectations, complaints, comments and satisfaction.
At Level 2, the airport is improving customer experience based on a clear customer experience strategy. A customer experience professional is working on customer journey mapping and personas and contribute to facilitate a cross-functional group to co-lead a customer experience plan.
At Level 3, The airport is delivering the customer experience strategy through engaged customers who share their expectations and feeling, engaged employees who are trained in customer experience and engaged customer experience professionals that are driving the medium and long term improvement plan.
At Level 4, Customer experience strategy is embedded in airport culture. All employees are contributing to understand, improve and re-invent customers’ experience, and are evaluated on this basis. Executives are considering customer experience as a major source of profit and are engaging all stakeholders to participate in airport community initiatives to delight airport customers.
At Level 5, the airport corporate strategy is the customer experience strategy. Key indicators, both strategic and operational, are based on what the customer is experiencing daily. All the airport community is one behind the airport strategy.