Who Wins? Lessons in Customer Journey…
Nothing in business should EVER be a surprise.
Take an example we recently encountered on our way back from Mexico…
We had to fly via New York (JFK) with a scheduled 5 hour waiting time between flights. No biggie – we could grab some food, mooch around the shops, stretch the old legs.
But when we landed in JFK, it was CHAOS, as we were cattle-herded with hundreds of other passengers from lots of different flights; and all became stuck in a bottle neck at passport control.
We were in this queue for 3.5 hours just to show our passports!
No communication or updates.
No reassurance or direction for those people with connecting flights.
And the knock-on effect was HUGE.
Who won in this?
- Certainly not the passengers.
- Nor the staff on passport control who were getting ALL the slack.
- Not the terminal staff who were dealing with stressed passengers to help locate abandoned/missing cases from connecting flights rather than doing their actual jobs.
- Nor the airlines who had an admin nightmare trying to re-book new flights for all those who missed their connections.
- And not Security as that was a ghost town whilst everyone was stuck in this bottleneck.
- Nor the pilots, traffic control, flight attendants who all had to work harder because of delays to flights.
- Not even New York based on the comments we heard during the 210 minutes we were stuck in a queue for…
Thankfully we had five hours to kill, but still we ONLY just made our flight check-in with 5 minutes to go.
Now compare this to our experience at London Heathrow – one of the world’s busiest airports with over 200,000 passengers daily, operating with just two runways (note JFK has 4 runways with 46,000 passengers daily) …
- We were a little late taking off, but we were constantly updated via the tannoy.
- We landed ahead of time at LHR. Bonus.
- They explained there was an issue with the tunnel so organised a bus – and the good thing is they said we had less walking. Bonus.
- When we approached passport control, those with children under 12 went one way, everyone else the other, with a clear system and process. Bonus.
We were off the plane and through passport control within 20 minutes. Bonus!
As I said earlier: Nothing in business should EVER be a surprise.
JFK knew what planes were coming in and when, how many passengers they needed to get through, how many connecting flights were due. No excuse…
So, have a think about your entire Customer Journey from start to finish to see what works well…even better if. You’ll be surprised.