As experts in airport retail and airport customer service, our focus tends to gravitate to capitalizing on what we call "The Golden Hour".
Defined as the coveted bits of time that passengers spend in the airport before and after their flights, this "Golden Hour" has MANY applications and opportunities!
Coined by our own Holly Buckner, airport guru, the Golden Hour is sometimes elusive and sometimes grand and always ready to be exploited! Being aware of how to best capture passengers' time, attention, and dollars during the "Hour"—and executing on it—can make the difference between your profits flying in First-Class or landing in cargo. See Holly in action as she talks about "The Golden Hour" on ABC's Nightline:
Follow this advice to ensure you are capitalizing on the Golden Hour in your airport:
1. Know what the customer wants.
Understanding the "wants" of customers at that exact time will help you to put your best products forward and make better suggestions. It will also help you ask the right questions. When you know that a customer is about to get on a flight and may want mints or water or a magazine, make these products available, and connect with the customer by recommending them.
2. Anticipate what the customer needs.
The traveling public is a predictable one. While needs can vary, most passenger needs are centered around comfort, speed, entertainment and nourishment. Prepare to offer items that meet their needs and the best way to know is to ASK!
3. Identify customer patterns.
Customers often come in waves. Identifying these patterns over time will help you capitalize on the bulk of your traffic. Use this information for scheduling purposes and assigning tasks. For example, use the downtime between customer waves to restock, clean, grab a bite and prepare for the next wave of prospects!
4. Serve them well.
You usually have one quick chance to grab attention and make a raving fan out of your customer. Be sure to offer friendly, courteous, attentive and efficient service. While a customer may want to linger in your store, they often won't have the chance if they want to catch their flight. So act urgently when needed and offer the opportunity to browse when customers are simply passing time.
These tips are also applicable to traditional retail and other consumer-based businesses. Think about how to strike while the iron is hot...and begin to capitalize on these opportunities.