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Leading the Customer-Centric Culture

Inside Story
Customer-centric culture at KLIA

Malaysia Airports brings customer-centric values to the forefront to ensure exceptional guest experiences.

Malaysia Airports values its guests more than anything else, even more so during these demanding times. Prioritising on guests’ safety and well-being, Malaysia Airports have been proactively ensuring that all safety measures and precautions are taken seriously when serving guests. The entire airport community have also come together in executing their roles to ensure consistent and increased sanitisation procedures, placement of thermal screenings and mask detectors, and the usage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Malaysia Airports Group CEO Dato' Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh says, “Despite challenges arising from new normal requirements in airport operations, the whole airport community has displayed a strong spirit of collaboration and came together as one to elevate KLIA's service performance in the eyes of the world."

These efforts are evident that Malaysia Airports takes its guests’ health and safety seriously without compromising to provide exceptional guest experience.

In line with its brand promise in 'Hosting Joyful Connections', Malaysia Airports embarked on advocating its service culture taglined as 'Happy Guests, Caring Hosts'. Various initiatives were executed to guide and educate its front liners to embrace 'Host Culture' and demonstrate caring host behaviours when serving guests. One of which is the introduction of the 5 Front Liner's Personality Traits - Always 'On Show', Integrity, Extra Mile, Resourceful and Enthusiastic.

Becoming More Guest-centric
Customer-centric culture at KLIA
Malaysia Airports' leaders continue to lead by example by conducting SLAP 3.0 for airport front liners.

In steering the organisation towards becoming more guest-centric, two major elements are looked into which are Service Culture (SC) and Operational Excellence (OE). Service Culture addresses the Courtesy and Helpfulness aspects of airport front liners in delivering exceptional service to guests at all times while Operational Excellence focuses on the pursuit of operational perfection.

To ensure branded Service Culture by the airport community, we developed the Exceptional People Practice (EPP) playbooks for both Aviation Security and Customer Experience Management (CEM) personnel, established the Frontliner Behavioural Assessment Programme (FBAP), and Service Leadership Immersion & Appearance Programme (SLAP 3.0) which were all guided based on the 5 Front Liner's Personality Traits.

The Malaysia Airports’ Service Leadership Immersion and Appearance Programme or SLAP 3.0 has been introduced to enable its leaders to immerse themselves in their guests’ lenses and experience first-hand real airport situations. Leaders conduct on-site coaching by leveraging the EPP playbooks to inspire front liners to go the extra mile in serving guests.

The Head of Guest Advocacy division, Mohammad Suhaimi Abdul Mubin shared that in order to ensure consistency in providing exceptional service level, front liners are guided by the developed standardised interaction module in the EPP playbook.

The incredible score of a maximum of 5.00 achieved in October for the 'Courtesy and Helpfulness' elements in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) results is evidence of the successful service culture efforts executed. These efforts have also borne fruit with the KL International Airport (KLIA) ranking ninth in the latest global ASQ survey for the first half of 2020.

In measuring the effectiveness of OE, Malaysia Airports looks at achieving sustainable results through the practice of several methods including Lean Six Sigma, Design Thinking and Agile Way of Thinking to ensure continuous improvement and innovation.

Guest-centric culture at Malaysia Airports.
Part of the OE’s initiatives is to have senior leaders adopt dedicated washrooms, thus ensuring that everything is in place and up to par.

Among efforts underlined by OE is the New Norm Pax Journey Improvement Garage that includes empathy walks to understand a guest’s journey while at the airport, with a focus on hygiene and safety based on the new norm requirements due to COVID-19. Airport community leaders are also involved as part of the steering committee to analyse findings and work on solutions that will help ease challenges.

Apart from that, the Washroom Adoption programme was introduced in collaboration with the Guest Advocacy division, with each leader adopting dedicated washrooms and being the extra eyes and ears to the operation teams on the ground.

Spearheading OE in Malaysia Airports, the General Manager of Operational Excellence and Innovation (OE&I), Mohammad Azmel quipped that they look at the pain-points of a passenger’s journey in the new normal and improve the passenger flow and hygiene experience. As a result, 60 potential solutions were identified along the New Norm Pax Journey for KLIA and klia2. 

Leading by Example
Airport front liners strive to deliver exceptional service even during demanding times.
Airport front liners strive to deliver exceptional service even during demanding times.

Malaysia Airports had also worked together with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) to implement additional initiatives to screen arrivals from Sabah. Deployment of mobile food and beverage (F&B) carts in the test waiting areas were enabled; the elderly, disabled, pregnant mothers and families with young children were given access to priority lanes to help smoothen their arrival process; and additional seats were provided at the arrival gates as well as along the flow path to the testing area as passengers wait for their turn to be tested. These initiatives exhibit Malaysia Airports' seriousness in prioritising its guests’ health and safety while providing an exceptional guest experience.

Enhanced services at the airport ensure that guests can enjoy a smoother and safer journey at all times.
Enhanced services at the airport ensure that guests can enjoy a smoother and safer journey at all times.
Reaping the Rewards

The deployment of these best practices have yielded positive results. According to Malaysia Airports Head of Guest Advocacy Division, Mohammad Suhaimi Abdul Mubin, the exemplary display of courtesy and helpfulness among the KLIA community were among the top five ASQ elements that helped boost KLIA up the ranks. Adding to this proud achievement, Malaysia Airports recently bagged the Silver Award for the 'Customer-Centric Culture' category in the International Customer Experience Award (iCXA'20). iCXA is a global platform set to celebrate the incredible work done by customer experience professionals all over the world from prestigious and well-renowned organisations such as Shell, SAP and Telefonica.

Malaysia Airports recently bagged the Silver Award for the 'Customer-Centric Culture' category in the International Customer Experience Award (iCXA'20).
Malaysia Airports recently bagged the Silver Award for the 'Customer-Centric Culture' category in the International Customer Experience Award (iCXA'20).

Such accolades are testament that Malaysia Airports is moving in the right direction when it comes to customer-centric practices but it is now more crucial than ever to uphold exemplary services to restore confidence among passengers to travel again.

Malaysia Airports Skytrax Awards 2021
Vote for Malaysia Airports in the Skytrax Awards 2021!

Malaysia Airports will be participating in Skytrax Awards 2021 under two categories, namely the World’s Best Airport and Best Airport Staff categories. Voting is still ongoing so don’t forget to vote!

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