Customer experience: Added value for customers and businesses
Offering a positive customer experience is a great opportunity for a business to stand out from the competition in a time when products and services are becoming increasingly interchangeable. But what does that mean in practice? An example from the UK shows the type of customer experience that inspires customers and makes a business more successful.
Of course there are – fortunately – many other examples of positive customer experience. With this article, we would like to inspire you and show the benefits a business can gain from positive customer experience.
Personalized customer communication at Heathrow Airport
With a passenger volume of some 78 million in 2017, Heathrow is Europe’s busiest airport. In comparison: Frankfurt Airport “only” had some 65 million passengers in 2017. But Heathrow not only connects over 200 destinations in 85 countries with London; it also operates train connections to central London as well as numerous parking garages and parking lots. With over 100 retail outlets and restaurants, the concourse is also one of the UK’s most productive retail spaces.
To offer visitors a consistently positive customer experience in all these areas, Heathrow is relying on technology and data. The data comes from different sources, such as travel bookings, Wi-Fi logins, and purchases on the concourse. They are analyzed and provide the foundation for offering customers useful information at all the touchpoints – including several websites, an app, and e-mail communication.
Here is one example: A traveler obtains information about parking facilities online, but does not make a reservation. During his next visit he receives specifically tailored content, such as a reminder to complete a parking space reservation and an invitation to join Heathrow’s loyalty program, which awards bonus points for on-site parking. A regular Heathrow Rewards Newsletter provides information about special offers from the retailers operating at the airport which may be of interest to the customer.
The Heathrow app not only enables travelers to book parking spaces, but also to preorder a meal in a restaurant in order to avoid wait times. The app also provides other functionalities, such as looking up the latest flight information by scanning your ticket, as well as interactive maps to quickly find your way around the airport grounds. It is also possible to alert passengers to interesting offers in retail outlets in their vicinity.
By combining data from retailers, airlines, and other partners, Heathrow is better able to recognize, understand, and address its customers. The outcome of this cross-channel approach: Annual retail sales rose by 22 percent, membership in the loyalty program grew by 19 percent, and spend per airport visit increased by 23 percent.