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“We are Still Far Away from Really Knowing the Customer”

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CHUR, Switzerland, Jan. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport, discusses the challenge to get in touch with passengers as an airport and reasons to attend the Hamburg Aviation Conference (extract).

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150120/725529)

Michael Eggenschwiler: I think airports must learn to establish contacts with their clients, because they spend quite a bit of time at the airport before or after their flight. So the better we know them, the better we can serve them.

I know a few airports where this has happened already. If the airlines think in the interest of their customers, they also want to provide them with excellent service on the ground before and after their flight… I agree it’s not an easy task we have before us. We should share passenger data in the same way as we share operational data between airports, airlines and ground handlers in the interest of our passengers.

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HAC: What could you imagine doing if you had this data?

Eggenschwiler: I could provide the passenger with a smooth walk through the airport, I could provide her with information about which parking area is available at the moment, I could tell her where to go for the shortest security lane or let her know where there is a special deal available in terms of coffee, drink or food. I could show her the way to the gate when she departs…

HAC: What can airports learn from other industries in terms of customer service and customer loyalty?

Eggenschwiler: It’s paramount to listen to the passenger and really find out what she wants. I think we too often have the feeling we know what the passenger wants, and if we are really honest, we don’t. By establishing dialogues to find out what our customers, the passengers, really want, other industries are really ahead of us.

HAC: Why should industry experts attend the Hamburg Aviation Conference?

Eggenschwiler: They should attend because I believe the conference is an excellent mix of people with expertise from the aviation industry and from outside the industry. Anyone attending will learn a lot and certainly take home ideas to implement in their own company.

The interview was conducted by Andreas Spaeth.

The conference is organised by the boutique consultancy XXL Solutions. Marketing partners are Hamburg Airport, Airbus, ICLP (global agency), Lumexis (USA) Guest Logix (Canada).

Ursula Silling, Founder & CEO XXL Solutions, ursulasilling@xxlsolutions.us, +41799274030, @xxlsolutions

http://www.hamburgaviationconference.com, @hamburgaviation

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