Changi airport in Singapore is an amazing facility. It features a pool (with swim-up bar), five garden areas, an indoor butterfly garden, 24-hour napping areas, a four-story slide, and many other amazing amenities. Less sexy, but equally impressive, is how clean and efficient the whole thing is. Additionally, Changi is recognized as having some of the best customer service of any airport.
All things considered, Changi is regularly listed as one of the best airports in the world, and has been awarded the #1 airport for the past two years.
So how do they do it? What is it that keeps everything running so smoothly at Changi when other airports can feel like dirty, inefficient prisons from decades past?
One of the first things an observant traveller will notice is different about Changi is they have feedback screens everywhere. In the bathrooms. After passport control. Even at the counter of restaurants and food stands. This airport is fanatical about getting user feedback.
After using the bathroom you can rate the facility on a 1 – 5 scale. Any bad/mediocre ratings will prompt the user for more info. Why didn’t you like the bathroom? Was it smelly? Was there no toilet paper in your stall? Was the floor dirty? Similarly, if you weren’t happy with passport control was it because of the officer’s attitude or a long wait time?
This provides the airport with a slew of data, and helps them understand what patrons don’t like and how they can improve the experience. Instead of relying on customers to submit a paper complaint, or flag someone down at an information booth, they proactively seek out this feedback.
What’s even more impressive is in the case of the bathroom, any feedback (like a stall missing toilet paper) will immediately be sent to the service person on duty so they can fix the problem as soon as possible.
The airport put together a great video showing this process here:
This feedback system is so impressive it was awarded the Most Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology.
Obviously it takes a lot more than a clever feedback system to be the top airport in the world. But I’ve never seen a better example of a public facility collecting millions of data points and instantly addressing negative experiences.
This system best arms Changi to continue its streak of excellent service. Next time you’re in a smelly bathroom at JFK with a wet floor and no toilet paper, just think of how satisfying it would be to scream (via feedback system) at the facilities crew. Changi hears you loud and clear.