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Management and Quality Standards: Maintaining Consistency at Abu Dhabi Airports

It goes without saying, that the prompt development of the United Arab Emirates can be observed by the people from the whole world. In addition to construction business and water producing companies, digital marketing industry and FMCG segment, the airline industry is also profitable as it provides a great number of modern technologies and algorithms to improve customer service and remain up-to-date. Nowadays, it is critically important to stay customer-oriented in order to be able to provide a quick response to any complains or alterations that must be managed. Otherwise, a business will not be lucrative as it does not meet customers expectations. Currently, the task of any business is not only to meet customers expectations, but to overcome them.

Even though the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi is considered as one of the biggest and hottest industrial and business spots in the world, tourism and travelling of UAE citizens, immigrants, and guests of the UAE contribute a significant part of profit to the airport industry. Abu Dhabi Airports Company has launched and runs five airports, whereas all of them are located in Abu Dhabi or 5-45 kilometers from the city. During the last 10 years, the number of passengers who traveled by means of Abu Dhabi Airports has exceeded 6 million. Due to such rapid growth, the issue of quality service and proper customer service has arisen. Today, the company focuses at services it provides to clients. In addition, Abu Dhabi Airports Company puts much effort to provide the best possible quality for the customer service. This paper is aimed at providing a survey analyzing the interviews with passengers, conversation with H.E. Majet Al Mansoori the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, in order to define the implementation of quality management practices. In addition, the aim of this research is to identify some new ways to meet the highest level of customer service in Abu Dhabi airports.

Customer Service in Airports

According to Machado and Diggines, C. (2012), an employee does not have to neglect or argue with a customer as it has always certain consequences. Concerning the issues of customer service and care, Abu Dhabi Airports Companies claim that it is one of the major values for their enterprise (Buttigieg, Rathert and Eiff, 2015). One should note that the airport is not a regular business: some customers use it every week, others have never visited any of Abu Dhabi Airport in their life. In order to obtain better understanding of the quality customer service in airports, one should pay attention to the service standards. To emphasize scalability, there are many businesses that collapsed due to the rapid growth. In order to avoid such situation, Abu Dhabi Airports Company must follow proper security, customer, and comfort requirements to overcome customers expectations and provide one of the best services in the country, if not in the world. Moreover, there are some instantly emerged questions, such as emergency help or any other facilities. If the airport considers these issues, it will reach the new level providing excellent customer service.

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Due to many service quality programs that were started in the middle of the 2000s and keep working nowadays, Abu Dhabi Airports Companies and other organizations, which are in charge of airport business, must stick to evaluation in different aspects. For example, as a basic standard, each airport must compile up to 5 employees for disabled people. The number of workers depends on the scale of the airport and its capacity. One should give a tribute to Abu Dhabi Airports Company as the analysis of companys airports conducted in 2014 (Al-Dhaheri and Kang, 2015) demonstrates that the enterprise is in the constant development because it follows customer feedbacks and alters their services (as well as their business). According to Wells (2000), this is the quickest and the most dependable way to become popular, modern and profitable company in air industry. Wells claims that such companies do not even have to count for marketing expenses. Moreover, properly organized customer service is able to manage all other business aspects.

It is hard to overrate the importance of customer service nowadays, and the airport business is not an exception. Nowadays, people want to be safe and in comfort, and Abu Dhabi Airports Company puts much effort to turn customers cravings to reality. The enterprise follows managerial choices, safety and comfort/leisure standards in order to be a progressive company. According to WAM-2009, after airport reconstruction, the majority of clients mentioned that they were satisfied with re-development more than 78 per cent. However, there were even more customers who claimed that not re-development, but the customer service captivated them and provided good experience in Abu Dhabi Airports Company. Al-Dhaheri and Kang (2015), claim that Abu Dhabi airports are the best in the world due to their facilities, comfort, and customer service.

The importance of air traffic control is connected with possible risks such as terrorism. For the time being, Abu Dhabi Airports Company spends more than 3 million USD annually for security issues. Any airport must provide their efficiency, economy and comfort as well as ensure safety and reliability. Therefore, it is required to conduct the entire measures for the safety of the passengers. In order to maintain the highest safety standards, Abu Dhabi Airports Company participates in Aviation Authority Safety Program. This activity is aimed at raising airport standards and controlling the major value of the plan, namely meeting customers expectations and overcoming them.

In addition, Abu Dhabi Airports Companies divides their customers by segments to emphasize and focus precisely tourism development. As it has been mentioned above, Abu Dhabi is one of the biggest business centers in the world. However, it has a great potential for tourism: Abu Dhabi Airports Company is not indented to lose such possibility, and it provides all needed management practices to increase the customers appeal for airports.

Strategies of Abu Dhabi Airports Company

In order to research the implemented strategies of Abu Dhabi airports to reach quality customer service, one should pay attention to four primary advantages emphasized by Wells (2000). The author claims that Abu Dhabi Airports Company pays much attention to the quality practices in order to improve their customer service to the most possible level. According to Wells (2000), ABAC has four pillars to provide excellent customer service and to raise it constantly. Therefore, many passengers confirm that they have mutual benefits with the company while applying quality management and high customer service principles.

The first strategy principle is digital allowance. It is hard to overrate the importance of the Internet nowadays, as it is an important part of the peoples life. Internet addiction is a major problem of the modern society; however, it is a great tool for business to meet the needs of a client. One can remember that people are always seeking Wi-Fi or other internet connection when they are indoors. For the time being, the Internet causes great influence on people. One may not believe that 6-7 years ago the presence of the computer in the house was not mandatory. However, nowadays, the situation is opposite as the availability of computer/laptop/tablet and the Internet is obligatory, which is not a surprising fact. A large amount of information, high speed of life processes and the constant growth of the requirements imposed on the general level of knowledge requires that a person constantly refers to the reliable and comprehensive sources of information, which is able to obtain due to the Internet. To summarize, Abu Dhabi Airports Company puts much effort to provide customers with quality and fast Internet as the connection is important for study, business, and any other work. According to Windeatt, Hardisty and Eastment, (2000), the majority of modern professions depend on the Web.

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The second strategy of Abu Dhabi Airports Company is a constant improvement of the standards. There was a rebranding and rebuilding of 60 per cent of ADAC that allowed raising companys loyalty by 60 per cent. It is critically important to follow this police and rebuild the company in the accordance with nowadays standards. In order to be a professional in the customer service, a company needs to lead organizational structure, suggestions, systems and service processes in a state that allows providing the customer with experience that he is seeking (Providing for consideration of H.R. 1979.) Needless to mention that Abu Dhabi Airports Company does its best as numerous surveys (including online ones), sales or gifts for pull feeling, and other management practices allow this company to provide the best possible customer experience. The structure of the organization, its systems, processes, and proposals should depend on the customers needs, not on the product itself. Probably, it is the major secret of success in Abu Dhabi Airports Company. Emotions and experience of the customers are more important than the product they purchase, even though its quality is also critically relevant. If the organization is overly focused on the product, the level of responsibility for improving the quality of customer service is minimal, leading to the emergence of their problems related to wrong decisions, inefficient interaction with the employees of the company, etc. It is not the case with Abu Dhabi Airports Company as their primary object is a client.

The next management practice, implemented by Abu Dhabi Airports Company, is safety. It goes without saying that any airport should be safe as it is a risk spot. Concerning ADAC, their airports meet the highest standards of safety. The construction plan of the airports is adjusted to be in compliance with the safety standards before building the airport itself. There are strict requirements for the transport and specifics of airports, including anti-terrorist protection of objects (airport and close areas), considering the levels of security provided in Abu Dhabi Governmental Airways Report and Federal Law, for different categories of transport infrastructure and vehicles. They are established by the UAE on the proposal of the Government of federal executive authority performing functions of public policy and legal regulation in the sphere of transport. Moreover, it required coordination with the federal executive authority in the area of ??the UAE security and the federal executive authority performing functions of public policy and legal regulation in the field of internal affairs. Abu Dhabi Company does its best to meet these requirements as they are mandatory for the transport infrastructure entities, including airports.

The last management practice is cooperation with air companies and collaborations with other airport. Nowadays, everyone wants to be involved and integrated. Moreover, the development of airlines and airports is closely interrelated; Abu Dhabi Airports Company considers this fact and provides mutual cooperation as well as joint planning activities between the airport and the airlines, which is the key to sustainable development. Absence of planning the construction of new the infrastructure hinders economic development of both the airport and the airline. Development of the flying industry as the air agglomeration is encouraged, which imposes a positive economic impact on the UAE in general. It goes without saying that role of government is crucial in establishing an enabling environment for the development of the aviation industry as well as the regulation of co-development of airlines and airports redundant areas under the relevant development.

Survey of Officers and Customers in Abu Dhabi Airports Company

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) is a strong and serious competitor in the airline industry area. With regard to the fact that service quality is the major factor that can predetermine such position, it is obvious that the company has put much effort to ensure the highest comfort level to the passengers of its airports. Therefore, they conducted a survey of 50 random customers (passengers) at the arrival and departure areas to get a 360 degree feedback on the subject. In addition, 50 random officers of the Abu Dhabi Airports were proposed to express their opinion about the organizations focus on quality management. In addition, it is suggested to interview H.E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori- the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports in order to obtain information about implementation of quality management practices as well as their contribution to the strategic plan of the organization.

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According to the survey, the majority of people visit Abu Dhabi airports for the first time (after 2015) and they like ABDC customer service. Comfort, safety and, up-to-date technologies are praised to be the primary options, to which people pay great attention. Regarding the issue of employees, they claim that labor contacts and general atmosphere has significantly improved. In addition, both employees and customers found mutual benefits and understandings due to the new management practices provided by Abu Dhabi Airports Company.

Interview with H.E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori

A qualitative (in-depth) interview is conducted, which is intended to discuss the matter of deep implementation of quality management practices; the purpose is to obtain answers and analyze them. The following questions had to be asked to H.E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori- the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports in a face-to-face interview during a planned visit to ADAC:

What is ADACs vision?

Abu Dhabi Airports Companys vision is to deliver creme de la creme, the best customer service and to make any airport an up-to-date place in order to ensure that each passenger (no matter he travels for business issues or as a tourist) can feel like home. I think our vision is to make you feel relaxed even if you have just 10-hours flight. Our vision is aimed at providing the best possible service. We know what you need before you actually say it.

As we know ADAC is going to launch a new airport construction. What are the expected services and facilities passengers will experience, which will make ADAC a unique company?

Safety and innovative technologies. We have segways if you need to relocate in the airport or wish to see the city. You may use your laptops whenever you need to check your mail and other up-to-date devices that allow you to study, work, and actually to live while you are not at home. Concerning safety, it goes without saying that it should be the primary goal of any airport, and Abu Dhabi Airports Company is not an exception.

What are ADACs practices regarding implementation of quality management?

Constant development of the employees. We invest much money to train our employees and we appreciate all of them, they are our greatest value. I believe that there is no business, which can be built without strong and professional team. Therefore, I suppose that there are two pillars, to which ADAC adheres: it is constant development/ up-to-date technologies and training employees to form the best team of professionals in the world.

Why is ADAC interested in the implementation of quality management practices?

Because we want to be one of the best companies not only in the UAE, but in the entire world. Once you get a positive response for a person, you want to do your best and provide his satisfaction.

How are these practices contributing to the strategic plan of ADAC?

They are being implemented according to our plan. We had practices of preliminary integration but they were not successful. Therefore, we follow step-by-step development. It is more reliable and safe.

What are the major challenges facing ADAC in terms of quality management?

Conflicts at the working place and constant changes. If the first factor is spread and there are conflicts at any working place, the second one deals with the problem that some customers neglect our alterations as they are not able to meet them. However, I consider that it depends on the human nature, and we need time to accommodate to something new.

What are the future plans for ADAC in order to remain an example of airport to follow?

Taking care about the customer first, not about the product as we do it today. And meet the highest standards of management quality.

Conclusion

Abu Dhabi Airports Company or ADAC is one of the strongest and famous players on the United Arab Emirates market. Nowadays, this company is famous for its particular attention to the customer service. Many companies do not consider such an important issue, which does not provide any instant success. However, customer service is a primary task that requires much attention while organizing any business nowadays. From safety to comfort, from facilities to capacity, Abu Dhabi Airports Company puts much effort to implement customers desires as well as constantly attract their attention and trust. As it has been mentioned above, there is love-marketing concept that implies a love-mark (or love-brand) of a company or brand that is being praised for millions of people in the entire world. Without any exaggerations, Abu Dhabi Airports Company is one of such enterprises. 24/7 customer care, high standards of safety and service, qualified and professional staff these are just a few advantages and secrets why Abu Dhabi Airports Company remains one of the most lucrative enterprises not only in the country, but in the whole world.

With regard to the fact that service quality is one of the major aspects in any business, Abu Dhabi Airports Company follows the principles of constant development. The companys management and H.E. Majet Al Mansoori, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, believes that every day development, up-to-date technologies integration, cooperating with other innovative companies, setting experiments with new models of chair or reception are the risks, which helped Abu Dhabi Airports Company to become one of the most innovative, favorite and the most profitable companies in the world. Nowadays, their airports are among TOP 20 airports by comfort and safety. ADAC made the right choice focusing on the clients as the number of tourists in Abu Dhabi is more than 6 million annually. One should remember that the airport has to provide feeling of home. In other words, it must be safe, comfortable, and cozy, where a person would like to stay as much as possible. It seems that Abu Dhabi Airports Company has managed to reach its goal providing the best possible customers service quality as well as investing in constant development, innovations and alterations of their airports.