London’s Heathrow Airport serves more than 75 million passengers every year. To accomplish this, Heathrow needs robust capability in a host of different areas — parking, security, train service, retail spaces, and more. But to passengers, Heathrow is simply an airport, a single entity. However, what happens on the way to or from, or inside the airport affects customer perspectives about it as a whole, and those perspectives are powerful.
That is the underlying reality of experience businesses. To succeed, companies need to understand the customer journey, and how to make it more streamlined, simple, and delightful for customers. For Heathrow Airport, that meant studying when, where, and how customers interacted with various parts of the whole, and what their impressions were along the way. The study found that security was the largest predictor of customer experience. Making an effort to improve that experience would elevate perception of the entire airport ecosystem.