Raising service levels at London Stansted Airport to new heights
Robbie Barrigan, Cleaning Quality and Compliance Manager, Stansted Airport
Alison Karmellhi, Soft Services Manager, Stansted Airport
Enhancing the passenger experience
The state-of-the-art Touchwork auditing tool has been very effective in enabling London Stansted Airport’s soft service team to meet service standards requirements and demonstrate this to senior management, while also improving the passenger experience wherever possible. This is according to Robbie Barrigan, Cleaning Quality and Compliance Manager: Asset Soft Services of London Stansted Airport.
“We are delighted with the highly effective system that Touchwork tailored specifically to help us maintain good service standards for our customers.”
Together with Alison Karmellhi, Soft Services Manager of London Stansted Airport, Barrigan leads the soft services team, consisting of over 100 cleaners, 5 Senior Cleaners, 5 Coordinators and 5 Supervisors. They are responsible for keeping the internal and external areas of the third-busiest airport in England’s capital city in a presentable condition for the about 26-million passengers who pass through it every year.
A bespoke auditing solution for easy and effective auditing
With the introduction of significantly stricter health and hygiene requirements to curtail the spread of COVID-19 at the airport, the soft services team needed a bespoke auditing solution that could be deployed easily and effectively to collate and manage data. This wealth of information, in turn, is used for reports to senior management.
Alison and Robbie we made aware of the Touchwork system because it was being used very effectively by the airport’s retail business for about 10 years. The existing system also featured a cleaning function and it, therefore, made good sense to put it to use. Certain locations within the airport are using QR codes to collect in-the-moment feedback from guests about their experience, in addition to Mystery Shopping, which provides other key performance gauges to inform business strategy.
Based on the platform already in place at the airport, Touchwork designed an auditing system specifically for the soft services’ team. Notably, it is significantly simpler to operate than the auditing systems that were previously used by the soft services team. With their many drop-down menus and options, they were extremely cumbersome and time-consuming to use. Audits can now also be undertaken using mobile phones. This makes the auditing function even easier for the supervisors who must also carry other equipment and their radios when performing their duties.
In a 12-hour shift, the supervisors must complete 10 audits. They audit the entire airport, with passenger- facing areas the priority, especially the ablution facilities which must always be in a presentable state. These facilities constitute about 70% of the total audits that need to be undertaken daily by the supervisors.
Real-time feedback facilitates quick responses
Importantly, the technology is enabling the soft services’ team to identify problems and respond to them quickly and efficiently. As part of a trial, for example, QR codes have been placed on walls in select bathrooms so passengers are able to provide feedback on their experiences in real-time.
“This is live data that enables us to respond to a problem within a matter of seconds, while passengers also feel that they are being heard and that their opinions matter to the airport. We are sure that this will help to improve passenger experience. This is measured via a Net Promoter Score (NPS) that we award ourselves every month, based on compliments and complaints that we receive.”
Reporting insights that matter
When calculating the NPS, the soft services’ team is also able to identify key trends, including recurring problems that need to be permanently resolved or dealt with timeously.
Notably, the feedback that the Touchwork system has garnered thus far has helped the soft services team to significantly raise service standards. A case in point is how a problem that related to unfit flooring in one of the bathrooms was addressed quickly and efficiently by being able to effectively escalate it and motivate the need for a solution to top-level management. This also initiated discussions with other departments around the need to refurbish the ablution facilities, especially with smart plumbing systems to further improve passengers’ experience at the airport.
More developments in the pipeline
Recently, London Stansted Airport rolled out a daily compactor audit and a waste bag ordering system for the Waste and Recycling team. The airport is also looking at introducing QR codes in all the bathrooms at the airport and considering the possibility of introducing them in six other areas in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, management has also asked Touchwork to help it to develop other auditing solutions to further optimize passenger feedback.