Regaining Altitude- Adapting to Customers' Needs
As we continue on our journey of Regaining Altitude, we understand the importance of adapting to customers’ needs to regain their trust. As baggage handling systems companies, we are focused on transporting passengers’ bags, but we do not have bags to transport without the passengers.
The meeting started with Katie Guy, Kasa Controls, and IABSC Chair of the Marcomm Committee. Katie discussed the Marketing and Communications meeting goals encouraging participation from our current membership in both joining the committee and providing content for social media and website posts. With an overall goal of being the industry’s voice, IABSC encourages interaction on social media through continual posts and dialog.
Our first speaker, Andrew Boyett, Senior Manager of Customer Experience Development at Southwest Airlines, was introduced. Andrew touched on the shifting of customer demographics with a decrease in business travel and an increase in leisure and the correlation of that to the increased number of checked bags. They also see a correlation in age skewing toward older passengers being less inclined to use the self-service kiosks for bag tags and boarding passes. Southwest continues to steer passengers to the utilization of self-service as much as possible, as it is important to support the economic model they have in place. Andrew discussed the survey responses from customers during the pandemic and what items were most important to them while traveling.
Jaimi Tapp, IAP Director of Strategic Planning, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport (ATL), was next to present. Jaimi first discussed some changes in place and measures at the Atlanta Airport to help customers feel more comfortable traveling during the pandemic. She touched on future planning and what will be important to keep in place to prepare for what might come next. As a participant of the AAAE Airport Consortium on Customer Trust Program (ACT) Program, Jaimi also told us about Air Bridges being put in place, including one between ATL and Amsterdam.
Following up on the discussion of ACT, Nicholas May, Strategic Account Executive at Schneider Electric, focused on new technology that is being piloted through the HVAC working group. In addition to the technology surrounding airflow throughout the terminals, Nick also touched on the other working groups and technology being piloted as part of the ACT program, including touchless technologies. Cleanliness is of key importance to customers and putting them in front of their own experience to use touchless technology.
The final speaker was John Scala, Assistant Program Manager for the South Terminal C at Orlando International Airport. John shared the new technology going into place at MCO’s New South Terminal C that focuses on operational systems that interface directly with airline and airport operations. John posed a question to the group of “who are your customers?” He discussed the importance of understanding that to rebuild confidence. We need to remember the customers are passengers, airport operations and maintenance staff, airline staff, concessionaire employees, airport security, including police, fire, and TSA. All those that need to know it is a safe environment to be in. He also mentioned the importance of pushing the envelope and merging high tech in high-touch areas to increase confidence and expedite passenger flow.