Crowdsourcing, put simply, is the seeking of ideas, opinions, solutions or feedback from large audiences. While this can also be done offline, the existence of social platforms has made it very simple and easy to instantly reach out to many people and tap their brains. It gives consumers a skin in the game.
Following the success of airlines at social crowdsourcing initiatives, airports have also recognised that today’s more connected world offers unprecedented opportunities for inviting customer participation, thereby making them feel part of the brand.
SimpliFlying’s Vice President of Airports, David McMullen caught up with Karen Bender to learn more about the new crowdsourcing initiative – CPH Ideas.
Crowdsourcing – in the words of CPH
McMullen: Airlines have already been using crowdsourcing effectively for a variety of ends such as product innovations, for mobile applications, loyalty tier rewards and for improving hand luggage. In the case of CPH, what does crowdsourcing mean?
Bender: We have 24 million passengers travelling through CPH and they are all inspired and influenced by travel services and products where they go. It is a level of inspiration that we can never hope to get ourselves. So for us crowdsourcing means to let our passengers bring home the best ideas for new services and products from anywhere in the world, for the benefit of the travellers and CPH.
McMullen: And how was the concept of ‘CPH Ideas’ developed?
Bender: We launched CPH ideas because we want our passengers to feel that we are good hosts for them. We want to be open and transparent for our guests and we are listening to their needs and wishes. Our guests are out in the world and get inspired during their travels – especially also from other industries. With 24 million travellers, there are more and better ideas out there we can tap on.
Internally, key stakeholders relating to the different grouping of ideas have been assigned to make sure that all ideas are reviewed. On the contributor side, we have used social media and PR to introduce the service.
McMullen: A number of airports are now entering the world of crowdsourcing in order to develop a more personalised customer experience, improving both the passenger journey and airport efficiency.
The exercise is a clear example of how to boost the reputation of the brand. What business objectives are you looking to meet through this initiative?
Bender: CPH wants to retain its position as the preferred hub in northern Europe. Consequently, it is necessary for the airport to grow to create space for almost twice as many passengers over the next few decades. In line with the airport expansion plan, there will be space for a number of new facilities not currently available at the airport. Copenhagen Airport already has plans for where the gates, lounges and terminal buildings are to be placed. With CPH Ideas, we hope to get more creative ideas that can bring the airport to the next level.
McMullen: How will you measure success for CPH Ideas?
Bender: In the short term, we plan to measure success based on the number of useful ideas we get. In the medium term, we will look at the number of ideas that we actually implement. As for long term, we will look at the success of the implemented ideas.
Until now, we have received almost 250 ideas and when we communicate it on our social platforms, engagement is very high. Copenhagen Airport is a destination that most Danish people relate to – most love us, a few hate us. And with CPH Ideas, we’ve given both lovers and haters a platform where they can influence the future development of their airport.
McMullen: That’s great. Airports are seeing a buzz of activity and are reinventing themselves around user experience, this time in very different ways. They are now looking to create even better airport experiences and to improve service quality, not only for the customer but also with the customer.
At CPH, what is the follow up process with users/travellers and at this stage, how involved are they in the implementation of the idea?
Bender: The CPH Ideas initiative has only gone live for a few weeks. We have yet to implement ideas. However, at the moment 61 ideas are under review by our respective stakeholder groups. If an idea qualifies, we may involve the contributor for further development but it is really too early to say.
McMullen: I see. Based on our conversation, I think it’s clear that crowdsourcing provides airports with a great way to engage with passengers online and to seek and invite ideas – which can be found aplenty online – efficiently. It also draws travellers closer to the airport brand, ultimately seeking to create passenger experiences that are born from the passengers themselves, thereby adding an even greater personal touch to the travel experience. This subsequently builds customer loyalty.
I hope to see more airports take after yours to tap on the opportunities that crowdsourcing can offer.