ADM – Aéroports de Montréal, has invested some $700 million in what it now calls Montreal-Trudeau, although many still call nostalgically Dorval International. A good slice of that has gone into the new International Arrivals facilities. This should be a pleasant and welcoming gateway for all the visitors that Montreal values so highly.
However ADM – Aéroports De Montréal may need more emphasis on the customer-centric approach that successful companies and agencies are now adopting. Even the first part of their 3-part mission seems somewhat sterile and clinical. It reads as follows:
Provide quality airport services that are safe, secure, efficient and consistent with the specific needs of the community.
That sounds somewhat grudging and is hardly something to stir the ADM team to give customers an experience that beats the competition.
It certainly doesn’t seem to be working. Henry Aubin of the Montreal Gazette wrote an item this week on June 14 headlined “Inefficient airport gives city a black eye“. He didn’t find the physical installations all that bad, but a few members of the ADM team caused him to say, “My experience was bittersweet.”
There are many examples where the ADM planners and the operating team do not seem to be focusing enough on what the experts call the User Experience. This approach focuses on how users of the facilities find they work for them. One of the most blatant examples is to be found in the Domestic Arrivals area, which is a most frustrating place. All those arriving must pass through an area about 20 feet wide to get to their transport from the Airport. The three screens that most people must check to see whether the flights of their friends and relatives have arrived are suspended from the ceiling across this 20 feet wide area. So all those waiting to greet arrivals must stand directly in the path of those arriving while they’re checking whether planes have landed. Correcting such an obvious design blooper is not rocket science.
The senior ADM management could easily find out what user experiences are like by adopting the Mystery Shopper approach. If they feel the need of experts in User Experience, then they can probably get lots of free advice when a major conference of such experts takes place from June 27 to July 1. This is the North American Usability Professionals Association 2005 Conference entitled, Bridging Cultures. Experts in User Experience will be flocking into Montreal in their thousands just prior to June 27. If they all suffer the same distress as Henry Aubin suffered, then there should be loads of expert advice available to the Aéroports De Montréal management on what needs to be done.