How Istanbul Airport Used Voice of the Customer and Design Thinking Strategies to Create Inclusive Customer Experiences


When Hilal Kahraman took the reins as a planning specialist to support the building of a new international airport in Istanbul, Turkey, she took on a complex customer experience leadership challenge. She not only had to work with construction and planning teams to create an airport that was compliant with Turkish accessibility requirements, but she had to do it for 200 million anticipated passengers who would pass through the new Istanbul Airport each year. She had to pay keen attention, specifically, to leading the creation of an independent, active, inclusive experience for customers with physical, mental, and neurological differences and families with special needs children. This case study outlines how Hilal and her team practiced the concepts and principles of customer experience as a business discipline—specifically strategy, voice of the customer, and design thinking—in building Istanbul Airport into an inclusive, barrier-free space for all customers. Students will be asked to discuss short- and long-term communication and training strategies for the airport’s 6,000 staff to uphold, promote, and successfully implement the longevity of the airport’s customer inclusion strategy.

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