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London International – the “Easy & Comfortable” airport has a new tool in its Customer Service toolbox
London International (LIA) underwent re-branding in 2015 as part of the strategy to reach 500,000 passengers per year. Quite an undertaking for an airport located in a city of less than 375,000.
Management initiated several strategies to help build the new brand. One of these was to replace the commissioners with a highly skilled team of Blue ACEs - Airport Comfort Enhancers - as the front line.
The ACEs, highly visible in their blue shirts, are the first staff members the travelling public meet as they arrive at the terminal. In addition to welcoming visitors and passengers, they assist with everything from pushing wheelchairs to boosting dead batteries of passengers' vehicles in the parking lot.
Providing great customer service is a challenging at the best of times, but the Blue ACEs manage to champion quality customer service with all service providers at the airport, ensuring quality customer experience and service at LIA.
The Blue ACEs are carefully selected to join the team. They must possess a very high level of situational awareness and be able to identify problems and provide solutions. The ability to remain cheerful and helpful when interacting with passengers (who can occasionally be quite stressed) is paramount. The ACEs also provide tours of the airport for visiting groups, act as first responders to security and safety related emergencies, complete FOD checks around the apron, conduct parking lot checks (where they have been known to cover and tape windows left open and yes, even close van doors departing passengers have left open). Their duties are varied, and each day provides new and unique situations. The Blue ACEs provide this front line customer service through shift work. It is a credit to their personalities as they are smiling and helpful to passengers whether it is at 5 am or at midnight.
Management know they are on the right track with this bold move to change the face of customer service and security at London International. The number of notes of thanks and positive posts on social media singing the praises of individual ACE team members tells them they have made the right move. And for the first time ever, London International is on track to meet the target of 500,000 passengers this year.