Communication – A Travel Stress Reduction Technique!

Have you ever arrived at a location where a conference is being held and have no idea where to go? Sadly, it happens all too often. Last year I had the opportunity to speak at the 16th International conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. There were no instructions sent prior to arrival so I arrived about 30 minutes before registration started. Upon arrival on campus, we approached security to ask where we needed to go. Their response, “I have no idea, what is the conference?” He searched through information he had and found no mention of a conference. He suggested we go to a set of buildings he said sometimes hosts conferences, but found it was not the location. A person there suggested going to a building with large green steps which we finally found and at the foot of the stairs was an 8X10 sign announcing the conference was upstairs! By the time I arrived at the conference, we had spent 25 minutes looking for a location that we could have found in 5 minutes with proper signs.

When it comes to visual communication, Tampa International Airport does it well making things run smoothly and efficiently. Whether you are picking someone up or have a departing flight the stress of travel is lessened due to clear instructions. Upon entering the airport areas are clearly marked regarding where to go for arriving and departing flights as well colored signs denoting the various airlines. Red and blue signs easily guide a person to the correct airlines.

Cell phone lot: Upon arrival in the cell phone lot we were pleasantly surprised to find not only rest rooms and snack machines, but a board with real time flight information. The flight we were waiting for was to arrive at 12:25, yet the board informed us that the flight was arriving 15 minutes early. There were also clear instructions to give your party 20-25 minutes to retrieve their luggage before picking them up, as individuals will not be allowed to wait. Approximately 20 minutes after the flight arrived our party texted us that they were ready to be picked up. It made for a very efficient system.

Departing flights: For our departing flight, we needed to return our rental car and get to our gate. The route was easily identifiable through the red and blue signs which allowed us to find our way to our airline. After checking our bags, the rental car was returned. Once again, the route was clearly marked. Upon leaving the rental return, signs led the way to our gate allowing us to arrive at our gate with plenty of time to relax and have a cup of coffee before takeoff.

Website: The website of the airport reinforces the information given on the signs and helps people to understand what they need to do to easily navigate the airport.

The ease of communication increases customer satisfaction and the experience your customers enjoy. It takes a little forethought, but with a little effort you can enhance the experience your customers have which will increase the chance they will want to return. Look around, how easily can your customers navigate your organization. Is it clearly understandable? Do people know where to park? Is the entrance to your organization clearly marked? Is there communication prior to arrival to help individuals understand the requirements of their visit? For example, are closed toed shoes required? Will the person need to a lot some time to listen to a safety video? Does the visitor have the contact information for the person with whom they will be meeting and instructions about who to call? By taking a little time to put yourself in a customer or prospective employee’s place, you can really improve how the person perceives your organization and this can only help you to be more successful.

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