The customer is privy only to what happens in the foreground. This is a simple thought with the power to make or break businesses. The best service providers, therefore, strive to ensure that their background processes are never exposed to their customers. They keep their customers happy by giving them a seamless experience. This is especially true of industries where time is vital. In a place like the airport, where time is a crucial element in the operational equation, simplifying and breaking down background processes can pay huge dividends to all stakeholders. So, we decided to look into just one small – but extremely significant – part of the complex ecosystem of airports: Incident reporting.
The unhappy music of call waiting
If you look at a picture the of world’s first commercial airport at Hounslow Heath, UK, established in 1919, you would hardly recognize it as an “airport”. There was just a grass patch for the runway. Today, airports are more than just places where flights take off from and land. Airports have a life of their own. In some airports, you can buy yourself a complete wardrobe if you are in the mood to.
Tasks performed by people in the past are now done by self-service kiosks. There is unparalleled pace, ease and efficiency. And yet, somewhere in this seamless series of processes, an unlucky passenger hits a technical speed bump: the kiosk breaks down and cannot dispense the boarding pass. That’s when the human hand becomes necessary: an operations agent, a technician, someone. And so, the background process begins.
The passenger reaches out to the operations agent. The agent dials the toll-free number to the helpdesk to report the incident. But all he hears is the stiff recorded voice and unhappy music of call waiting. The upset passenger has joined another queue to another kiosk. Time is of the essence. The floor agent is frustrated. And the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) takes a nosedive.
By the time the help desk receives the full statement of complaint, more than 4-5 minutes have elapsed. This is presuming the call does not drop off mid-sentence. Once the ticket is logged and routed to the right team, more process is initiated in the background.
Meanwhile, more passengers turn away frustrated from the dysfunctional kiosk, and complain to the agent. The passengers, remember, cannot see the background processes in play. They only see that the kiosk isn’t working.
Reimagining helpdesks for the better
Give it a little thought: what difference will it make if you can report an incident in 15 seconds or less? A kiosk breaks down, and in less than half a minute it is reported to the technical team. It can dramatically decrease the turnaround time, save cost and drive up customer satisfaction. And customer satisfaction is measurable, in terms of ASQ, which depends on many things. ASQ represents the quality of service at the airport. One of the most important variables by which ASQ is measured is “Waiting time in check-in queue/line”. Which means that no airport with significant air traffic can afford glitches in their processing time. The kiosks, have to be in working condition, always. But as it turns out, they are often not. The time has come to disrupt the helpdesk. There has to be another way.
A tap into the future: Incident management at your fingertips
What if you could completely circumvent the call and report an incident with just a tap? Far-fetched as it might sound, our Next Gen IoT reporting does precisely this. Our sensors help the operating agent create an incident ticket with a single tap. Now, all that the agent has to do is select the right incident, and the job is done. The incident management system immediately and directly routes to the technical team. The sensors communicate small amounts of data and generate a kiosk-specific menu that lists all the possible problems that can arise. The operations agent requires no further training or expert knowledge, and no extra equipment or application, to use this solution. It is simple, intuitive and straightforward. It can reduce reporting time by 96%. The solution can be deployed immediately, and maintained at a cost that is negligible, when compared to its benefits. The advantages are numerous, transition cost and time small, and kiosks are merely the first point where we can apply this solution. It can be customized for numerous other services in the airport. This is the future of incident reporting. We invite you to tap into the future.