Unifying all employees

For several years running, Oslo Airport has been recognised as being the most efficient and well-scheduled airport in Europe. But OSL wanted to go one step further. Their vision is to provide the best airport experience all round. To achieve this, 150 subcontractors, with a total of 13,000 employees, must think and act as one. This will enable them to collectively understand and accommodate the needs of all travellers using OSL.

To make a good airport, travellers need to be at the centre. Service design has provided us with the mindset and tools to make that happen.
Knut Holen - Director, Terminal Operations, Oslo Airport

Recognising customers needs

Before we began redesigning the customer experience at OSL, we needed to understand how the airport functions from a service perspective, as well as from an organisational standpoint. To capture detailed insight into users behaviour patterns, needs and wishes, we implemented several service design methods:

  • Shadowing travellers throughout the airport.

  • Interviews with travellers and employees.

  • Observing patterns and experiences at the airport.

  • Self-documentation of travellers experiences.

Mapping travellers step-by-step

To interpret and translate the insight we mapped all our research via a visual presentation - structuring travellers movements throughout the airport step-by-step with video clips and visual presentations. Everything was shared across numerous forums - from management meetings to social events. This helped shape a general picture of the challenges involved. It was crucial that all OSL employees embraced a common empathy towards travellers using the airport, and saw how their respective jobs affected travellers and their experience of OSL.

Improvement processes are not new to us. However, service design provided a method ensuring our efforts were relevant to travellers. It had more of an effect on the resources used.
Knut Holen - Director, Terminal Operations, Oslo Airport
Photo: Thomas Ekström

Improved measures implemented

Because of our insight, several measures relating to travellers needs were prioritised and have now been implemented:

  • Improved information and directions, such as new gate numbering, dynamic flight information and numerous signage upgrades.

  • Improved public facilities, such as water drinking fountains, electrical outlets, etc.

  • Felix & Fiona – a comprehensive service offering for families with children, including a separate family track through security check.

  • “I am there for you” – a service and training program for all OSL personnel.

  • A common visual language enhancing people's experience of all internal processes throughout the airport.

Positive effects of the project

The OSL service design project has had a positive effect in multiple ways:

  • Passenger satisfaction (improved customer satisfaction surveys).

  • Organisational mindset (new employee training modules, and a common visual language enhancing people’s experience of OSL).

  • Other airports adopting similar methods (measures at OSL are now progressively being implemented at all other 46 government-owned airports throughout Norway).

The project was a collaboration between Steria and EGGS Design.