Julio Badin, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
Rapid advancements in technology are having a profound impact on the relationship between businesses and customers. Newer digitally based companies are leveraging data to garner valuable consumer insights redefining the customer - business relationship. Rapid growth and impressive financial results have allowed new upstarts to supplant their legacy counterparts in a matter of years.
The impact has been so profound that many mature companies in most industries find themselves playing catch up. In some cases, the impact has been devastating to companies that were once thought to be invincible. While there is little doubt that a well-executed CRM system can generate substantial value, without a clear understanding of your customer’s needs, that value may never be realized.
Several years ago, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport developed a 5-year strategy to ensure continued success in these everchanging times. Core to our strategy is placing the customer experience as the overarching key result. In addition, our vision embraces the fact that transforming travel is central to evolving customer expectations.
To optimize our relationship with our customer we leverage CRM implementations to help us collect data and perform analysis that ensures the customer’s needs are being met
The strategy includes leveraging digital and other customer focused tools and resources to realize our goals. One of those digital tools is a CRM system.
The good news is we didn’t just implement a new CRM system. Instead, we focused on the basics. Customers who travel have specific needs and requirements. Gaining a clear understanding of our customer’s core needs was a necessary first step to helping us better address their travel journey. There are many pain points along the travel journey and each of these go against the customer’s core needs. With a clear understanding of those pain points, we can see how best to address the customer’s needs in the most optimal way while also considering resource and financial limitations.New technologies are providing us cost effective options to help address process challenges in the travel journey. Examples include biometrics and IoT sensors that help reduce wait times or provide customers with information to help them have more control over their journey.
What we quickly realized is that as we address the customer’s needs along the journey, we can transform the experience itself. Today, most travelers consider air travel as a necessary and stressful “means to an end.” Our focus on removing friction from the journey provides us with opportunities to offer customers options and experiences that go past their core needs. The travel journey does not have to be utilitarian. It can be delightful. It can be productive. It can be quick, or it can be soothing. It can be what the customer desires it to be and we are focusing our efforts on delivering to what the customer wants. It is in this vein where we see the benefit of a CRM system. It is the relationship between the customer and the airport that can create true value for both. Our relentless focus on the customer and delivering to their core needs builds trust and the possibility of a relationship. To optimize our relationship with our customer we leverage a CRM system to help us collect data and perform analysis that ensures the customer’s needs are being met. This data also affords us the opportunity to deliver specialized services, experiences and memories that transforms the airport experience to a welcomed part of the overall travel journey.