Company of the Week: Finnair – Customer Experience Consultant at Finnair
I’m Eerika Enne and I’m working as a Customer Experience Consultant at Finnair. I joined Finnair about 6 months ago and before joining Finnair I worked as a management consultant. I studied International Business at the University of Vaasa and I must admit that during my time in Vaasa little did I know where I would find myself in a few years. I always selected Finnair in my top choices in the Universum surveys, but at the time it seemed like a distant dream or a goal. I would like to share my journey with you, or should I say the beginning of my journey as I’m just getting started.
I studied in the Master’s Degree Programme in International Business at the University of Vaasa. The program consisted on management and marketing courses with an international perspective. The program itself was also international as half of the degree student came from abroad. This gave us an excellent opportunity to work in diverse teams and that we definitely did. A lot of the courses consisted of lectures, learning diaries, group and individual assignments and of course exams. I enjoyed my time in university and I feel that the learning methods used during the courses have helped me during my career. Process thinking, problem solving, development and team working skills have been especially useful both as a consultant and in my current role at Finnair.
When I was finalizing my Master’s Thesis I started work as a management consultant at EY (Ernst & Young). I joined EY’s Finance & Performance Management team as a Consultant a few months before I graduated in October 2013. I got a chance to hit the ground running when I joined an international team working on a very interesting project. During this project I got a chance to work on several different topics ranging from process mapping and development to change management, training and system implementation. This gave me a really good basis to start building on, but during this time I also realized that I wanted to specialize in another area. I changed to the Customer & Strategy team as a Senior Consultant. This gave me the chance to start building my skills in customer experience and omnichannel development. As a consultant you rarely get to see the long term results of the work you do as you change from project to another and customer to another, but at the same time you get to see different kinds of organizations, teams and development needs. As I realized that I want to focus on customer experience development and knew that I wanted to see the results of the development activities I started to think about finding new challenges. When I saw the open position at Finnair I knew I had to apply and I’m very happy I did.
The past 6 months have been very interesting, but at the same time demanding. Finnair has ambitious growth targets and we are working to develop the services, products and experiences we offer to our domestic and international customers. The aviation industry has gone through changes in the recent years with new competition from low cost carriers and trends in the industry, for example de-bundling products (for e.g. offering light tickets without baggage). And the industry isn’t about to stop changing and developing anytime soon. This means that we need to think outside of the box, define our value proposition to our customers and find a strategy to reach our vision Unique Nordic Experience. We need to find ways to provide memorable experiences and personalized service for our customers. This all adds up to a very interesting environment to work in. There have been times when I have felt overloaded with information (you have no idea how many abbreviations we have in aviation), but at the same time I’m very excited about the opportunities I have had so far and what I will hopefully have in the future.
I’m working in the Customer Experience development team and already during the past 6 months I have had the chance to work on several different development projects and activities. Together with colleagues we have been working on defining what customer service is at Finnair, how we differentiate from our competitors and what does “Unique Nordic Experience” mean related to customer service. I have also had the opportunity of facilitating trainings related to customer service and customer experience development. I have really enjoyed doing these trainings and I feel that all the experience I have gained as a consultant and at Uni doing different kinds of presentations have really helped me feel comfortable while facilitating these trainings. I have also worked on development initiatives related to personalization, customer dialogue and customer service development. Most recently I have worked on the customer experience strategy. This work has been very rewarding and interesting as I get a closer look on the big picture, our strategic focus areas are and how we will develop them in the coming years.
I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but at least so far I don’t think I’ve had many similar days. Of course I always have meetings, read my emails and work with several different stakeholders, but the content of the meetings and development projects change. In my opinion this keeps it interesting and I constantly learn something new. However it’s important to keep the big picture in mind and remember that we are working to create experiences that meet or even exceed customer expectations. Our goal is to provide our customers a smooth omnichannel customer experience that is differentiated from the competitors.
My journey at Finnair is just getting started and I think I will have a lot more interesting learning opportunities ahead of me. My studies have given me a really good basis to build on and I look forward to continue building on it at Finnair.
Good luck with your studies!