OTHER ARTICLES Last modified on September 12, 2019

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ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, considers the benefits of the latest addition to the ASQ suite of solutions, the Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme.

Airports have recognised that the customer experience they provide has become crucial as a point of difference in an increasingly competitive market. As airports compete to attract more passengers, effectively managing and improving customer experience has become a business priority.

ACI carefully designed the newly established Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme to help airports assess, and improve, their approach to customer experience management and identify new practices that can be developed in the short and long-term, in order to progress through the levels of accreditation.

Airports are sophisticated businesses with various interlinked partner organisations and companies which often have different business objectives and goals. It is important for all involved parties to have a common view of airport customer experience and ACI’s accreditation programme helps airports to develop this common view.

The programme offers five levels of accreditation:

  • At Level 1: the airport has identified customer experience as a priority and is exploring customers’ expectations, complaints, comments and satisfaction.
  • At Level 2: the airport has developed a clear customer experience strategy.
  • At Level 3: the airport is delivering the customer experience strategy through engaged customers, employees and customer experience professionals.
  • At Level 4: the airport customer experience strategy is fully embedded in airport culture.
  • At Level 5: the airport corporate strategy is the customer experience strategy.

At each level, airports are accredited based on their practices in eight domains, which contribute to the evaluation of each airport’s customer experience maturity level.

These are: Customer Understanding, Strategy, Measurement, Operational Improvement, Governance, Airport Culture, Service Design/Innovation, and Airport Community Collaboration.

All these domains play a fundamental role in improving airport customer experience management and are closely interconnected.

Customer Understanding and Strategy help airports improve operationally, along with Measurement, which tracks an airport’s customer experience and satisfaction performance via key performance indicators (KPI).

Governance supports each airport in managing its customer experience by assigning responsibilities within an organisation. The Service Design/Innovation domain helps airports create services which will give customers a new and better experience. And Airport Culture and Airport Community Collaboration helps to strengthen internal and external co-ordination.

The programme is part of the ACI Airport Service Quality (ASQ) suite of solutions, which offers the world-renowned and globally established global benchmarking measuring passengers’ satisfaction while they are travelling through an airport.

Through different Surveys that target specific segments of the airport, the ASQ programme provides data on how airport performs at different touchpoints; where improvements are required; and where investment is most likely to deliver the biggest return.

As of July 2019, ASQ has 398 participating airports in 96 countries and continues to grow year after year.

Accreditation at each level also provides airports with a powerful marketing tool to communicate to the world their commitment to improving customer experience.

We will showcase and celebrate the first class of accredited airports at the second annual Customer Experience Global Summit which will be held in partnership with PT Angkasa Pura I (Persero) in Bali, Indonesia, from September 2-5.

The theme of the Summit is ‘One airport community; Many passenger journeys’ and it will explore how airports can continue to evolve in step with changes in the industry and customer expectations.

The basis of all ASQ programmes and services, and that of sustainable airport customer experience excellence, is continual learning and improvement. As such, the goal of the Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme is not to complete the last level, it is to evolve, excel and learn throughout the journey.

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