Case Study

Customer-Centricity Helps a Global Aviation Firm Reach New Heights

Weekly NPS surveys led to key operational improvements and fostered a customer-first culture


number of airports involved in the NPS survey


number of airports involved in the NPS survey

The Story

A global provider of airport ground services aimed to improve its performance at the hundreds of airports where it operates. It succeeded by putting its customers at the center of a strategy update and operational transformation.

A sharp new lens on customer satisfaction 

One of the world's leading aviation services companies, AirportCo* provides ground handling, cargo handling, warehousing, and many other services. The company’s leaders sought to integrate these business units and ensure consistent, high-quality service around the globe.

A critical element of this was the deployment of our Net Promoter Score℠, a management discipline that measures customer satisfaction by keeping score of the promoters or detractors of a company’s product or service. Using NPS helped AirportCo* establish a shared understanding of service performance and guide decisions about what improvements to make.

Working in close cooperation with AirportCo, our team introduced NPS in a coordinated way across the company’s footprint in nine regions. The surveys and resulting activities were integrated into operations and commercial routines at the country, regional, and global levels. Weekly NPS scores into key account management processes provided AirportCo with a full view of any single client across multiple airports.

Getting NPS off the ground

AirportCo began its NPS program at select locations, surveying customers via user-friendly, mobile-app technology. Customers were asked to rate the services they received in the previous week and provide a reason for the rating. We took care to ensure that surveys and resulting activities were woven into the daily work routines of AirportCo’s managers.

As AirportCo became familiar with NPS and refined the survey, the program was rolled out over two months to about 200 airports where the company operates. As data flowed in, key stakeholders received NPS reports—weekly overviews of customer perceptions of the company’s performance. Automated email alerts helped managers track whether company representatives had followed up with dissatisfied customers.

The station managers—who were both close to the customers and familiar with the operations at their site—were the real leaders of the NPS program, converting the survey insights into meaningful actions. A global operations office supported the program, managing the technology platform and ensuring that reporting was timely, accurate, and easily accessible.

Delivering insights that translate to results

Historically, AirportCo had found it challenging to develop a data-based point of view about customer satisfaction. With the NPS program, AirportCo was able to gather customer feedback every week across all of its airport operations, achieving response rates consistently above 60%.

Once the data was flowing, it was time to ensure that AirportCo leveraged the information to benefit the customer.

For example, when NPS scores revealed deep customer dissatisfaction with the on-time performance of ground handling at one airport, AirportCo was able to respond by adapting staffing and fixing the root causes of performance to recover NPS score levels.

Elsewhere, decreasing NPS scores enabled early warnings at one of AirportCo’s key accounts. That triggered a cross-functional effort to solve the issues with the affected airline and transparently communicate to its management about the specific improvements AirportCo had made.

In summary, the NPS program introduced a transparent set of metrics and fostered a customer-centric culture that continues to help the company improve. The weekly results created a common language and built a bridge between the company’s operational and commercial leaders, allowing them to focus their combined efforts.

Overall, AirportCo NPS improved in some regions by up to +20-30 points, a marked improvement in customer satisfaction

We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real. 

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Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, Net Promoter System®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., NICE Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ is a service mark of Bain & Company, Inc., NICE Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.