MAPSTED BLOG

Creating a Holistic Airport Customer Experience that Surpasses User Expectations

May 23, 2022
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airport customer experience
airport customer experience

Airport experiences have evolved to alleviate passenger predicaments in a variety of ways. Many airports are weighing an unplugged approach to curb decision bottlenecks. All that in hopes to reduce the tribulations of air travel. The future of air travel, like that of any other industry, is dependent on providing a memorable customer experience. 

We emphasize quality because there is a strong correlation between the quality of experience and customer loyalty. As a result, turning a blind eye to CX costs airports $1.4 billion annually.

In this blog, you’ll learn the 8 ways to create a bragworthy customer experience for air passengers. But before that let us walk you through the principles of airport customer experience.  

Define the Airport Customer Experience

At a time when airports are rated based on passenger CSAT, all focus is on improving user convenience. Why? If given the option, people will choose another airport if it better serves their needs. As a result, the majority of airport customer experiences revolve around uniformizing everything a passenger sees and hears. Finding terminals, checking in luggage, and navigating to duty-free shops are all examples of how to decongest bottlenecks along the waypoint.

As a result, airports are careful not to make people’s journeys more stressful, and instead strive to improve them by incorporating local flavors into touchpoints. All of this is done to give people a sense of place and to provide excellent customer service. 

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Why is Airport Wayfinding Important?

why is airport wayfinding important?
why is airport wayfinding important?

Familiarizing with cultural and institutional contexts is a common challenge in airport wayfinding. Transiting passengers may require more assistance than locals. The goal of the one-roof ideology is to reduce passenger inconvenience by increasing access to airport wayfinding options. Passengers will have more clarity on routes, distances, and services along the way.

Airport wayfinding is also important in arrivals and departures, guiding passengers from the public area to the airside and back without detours. 

Airport wayfinding signage and its Benefits

The ultimate goal of wayfinding is to declutter decision points so that both passengers and non-passengers can enjoy themselves in a complex airport environment. Well-planned airport wayfinding designs will reduce passenger anxiety by quickly orienting them with their surroundings.

The main challenge for operators is determining how to project information without making it cumbersome or causing misinterpretation. Airports currently use the following wayfinding to assist airport traffic in moving freely.

Static signage that informs passengers of their current location and orientation in relation to the environment. The wayfinding signs must allow people to follow the cues without being hindered by language barriers. As a result, it should ideally be a mix of colors, icons, and text.

Wayfinding, by definition, fulfills accessibility concerns by displaying various services and destinations that are relevant to users without providing a detailed explanation. It is intended for people who use the facility when they are anxious and have little time to think about their options. As such, it should consider cultural backgrounds, linguistic taboos, and euphemistic usage to ensure that the message is clear.

Airport Wayfinding Design Standards

airport wayfinding design standards
airport wayfinding design standards

Airport digital wayfinding design should benefit from clear sightlines, distinct paths, and landmarks, as well as text information and the location of helpdesks. Points of interest are not only more visible but also easier to find with a well-marked wayfinding design. It makes recalling the information on it easier, which aids in quickly orienting with the landscape. 

8 Ways to Improve Airport Customer Experience

ways to improve airport customer experience
ways to improve airport customer experience

1. Auto Wi-Fi Detection and Pairing Using BLE

Having readily available internet connectivity is the only respite during airport hustle. It allows air travelers to make quick calls, watch content, and receive travel updates so they don’t feel cut off from civilization. Filling out request forms to access free Wi-Fi is an unnecessary hassle when they could be doing something more productive. 

Airports must be outfitted with BLE beacons. When properly configured, passengers arriving at terminals will receive a push notification reminding them of free Wi-Fi availability. Not only that, but network pairing should be a one-click function to eliminate the need for forms.

2. Instant Access to Terminal Wayfinding Information 

Of all things, travelers dread being asked where they want to be dropped off. Taking time to figure out the terminal is the recipe for all travel-related troubles. It’s too unwise to make guesses about departure plans when there is zero room for error. Most passengers are particularly worried about this. 

While it seems easier to stay one step ahead with timely planning, the reality is that most people are laggards. They rely on technology as a crutch, which often leads to panic when they try figuring things out on their own. Today, the proliferation of IoT makes it necessary for smart airport applications that put passengers on the fastest path to reach their flight terminals. This includes airport wayfinding and interactive map design for the elderly. Being already aware of their ETA, they can spare a few extra minutes for side missions.

3. Geolocate Preferred Parking Spots to Shorten Detours

Some travelers prefer to drive themselves to the airport rather than being chauffeured. What awaits them is a never-ending struggle to find parking. Even if a spot exists, they may still frown because it is further away. This would entail carting luggage over a distance and back upon their return. 

It’s not difficult to imagine how a connected airport app could solve this issue. Being fully aware of vacant spots they can update the information in real-time. Airport users will know in advance where the closest parking spaces are to the terminal, and easily recall where they parked while flying out. 

4. One-click Operation for Lounge-Hunters

Most jetlagged passengers’ only thought is to unwind and sip a glass of mocktail. Most of them would appreciate an app that shows where the nearest lounge is and what services are available. If they didn’t have to march across the terminal floor to find lounges offering refreshing experiences, they could plan their time more carefully. 

5. Health Monitoring Apps to Nudge People into Healthy Eating

It is said that when people embark on travel, they lose track of healthy habits. As passengers hastily move around crowded airports, they also deserve to be reminded about healthy eating. From sharing quick health tips and facts to recommending nearby healthy eateries, location-based services open up endless possibilities to put health before everything else.

6. Ad Serving based on Location and Store Maps for a Convenient Shopping Experience

Nothing beats having an app to browse duty-free product catalogs and place pre-orders while on the go. Imagine not having to stop to browse airport shops when you could do so on your smartphone minutes before passing by the store. Simply pick up the ordered item and continue walking to your destination. To make things easier, stores with access to your shopping history and location data can recommend products you’re likely to buy as well as entice you with their latest promotions.

7. On-the-go Entertainment and Assistance 

Long layovers are extremely boring because there is nothing to do but stare awkwardly at the ceiling or airport architecture. While we don’t condemn those with an enthusiastic eye for artistic detail, it can be intimidating for many to do nothing. This is where the airport assistance app comes in. They keep your fingers and mind occupied, allowing you to multitask. It is extremely useful for passengers to receive navigational assistance to nearby points of interest. Such as recommending a waypoint to a popular restaurant with a 5-star rating while never letting you forget about your ETA and distance to the assigned gate.

8. Intelligent Luggage Tracking Ensures that They are Never Lost

Arriving at their destination without their luggage is one of many pet peeves of frustrated travelers. Users prefer a tracking app to monitor the location of their luggage in real-time, so they can rest assured that it will arrive at the right place, at the right time, to make journeys less stressful.

Conclusion

Eventually, there is no way out of altering the current customer service ideals. One thing becomes clearer as expectations shift. Personalization is essential for staying on track with the growth line. Although aviation, like all transportation sectors, has caught on to the change, there is still much-untapped potential. Before hurling advertisements, they must democratize passenger data in order to increase the visibility of passenger tastes. That’s not all. Even simplifying wayfinding has positive effects on CSAT. Location-based services are now being used in a variety of ways that are propelling the industry forward, such as recommending eateries, shopping zones, and the quickest route to terminals during peak hours. Thanks to location-based services, ETAs are far more reliable than GPS today, and they help operators monitor crowds in a local area and redirect travelers’ paths to avoid bottlenecks. Indoor positioning in airports is significantly simplifying lives and experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is customer service at the airport?

Ans. Airport customer service representatives improve the airport customer experience by assisting people with itinerary changes, general inquiries, and reservation-related questions. It goes a step further by making it easier for users to find restrooms, shops, and their terminals through location-based technology.

Q2. Why is customer service important at the airport?

Ans. A positive customer experience will lead to repeat visits and increased loyalty, in addition to positive reviews that other prospective travelers will use to make their decisions. Customer service is also important at airports because it sees high-pressure situations where passengers worry about missing their flights and skip out on other side tasks that they would have tended to with extra reassurance and schedule transparency.

Q3. How can the customer experience be improved at airports?

Ans. Customer experience be improved at airports are as follows

  • Understand the customer’s expectations.
  • Use positioning technology to map the journey.
  • Consult with indoor positioning experts for assistance in placing customers in the right place at the right time.
  • Value customers – non-flying persons included
  • Provide training data to the team to improve response times and customer satisfaction.
  • Shorten the amount of time people spend at decision points.
  • Gather customer feedback and improve the experience
  • Concentrate on increasing NPS.
  • Utilize social media to assist customers in locating assistance.

Q4. How to make airport wayfinding highly impactful?

Ans. Consult with digital wayfinding experts like Mapsted to help you design an airport wayfinding app that can be accessed via mobile devices. They can then follow the map to their indoor destination without any additional hardware. Wi-Fi and other in-house technology are used by location-aware technology to tell users where they are and the shortest path to a terminal.

Q5. How can wayfinding signs help improve customer experience?

Ans. It is not enough to have wayfinding signs at decision points at airports. Having access to digital navigation data at all times inspires trust and confidence while relieving stress. A relaxed traveler has more things to think about and is more willing to try out other airport amenities like shopping and food joints.

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