341 – Customer experience tips from the owner of Australia’s best airport

341 – Customer experience tips from the owner of Australia’s best airport

Stephen Byron has been the the Managing Director of Canberra Airport since his family bought it in 1998, and has turned it into a world-class airport offering an exceptional customer experience.

Since it’s purchase Stephen has overseen its transformation from a fairly unimpressive regional airport to a world class airport with over $2 billion being invested in airport infrastructure, a new terminal, a retail precinct and three business parks which accommodate more than 10,000 workers.

Canberra Airport
Entry to Canberra Airport

Now you might be thinking “What can I, the small business owner, learn from someone who owns an airport?” Well, I gotta tell you … plenty. What I love about Stephen’s story is the lengths he and his team have gone to in identifying what annoys people about airports, then set about solving each and every one of them in the new design.

This is quite simply a customer experience masterclass in how to create user-friendly products, services and customer experiences.

Canberra Airport
Bar at Canberra Airport

In this episode of your favourite marketing podcast we cover plenty of ground including:

  • How Stephen and his family nearly didn’t go through with the airport revamp
  • How he obsesses over creating the ultimate customer experience
  • How they built the airport and business precinct when it looked like they had little to no chance of success
  • I share another low cost marketing idea for you to implement immediately in our new segment lovingly called What Have You Got To Lose?
  • And we revisit a past episode in which we catch up with Jim … from that legendary Aussie brand … Jim’s Mowing

Yep, you guessed it, another big episode, so let’s get stuck, right in.





00:00  Two marketing insights
00:45  Teaser
01:27  Welcome & overview
03:08  Today’s guest introduction – Stephen Byron
04:30  Interview with Stephen Byron
38:00  Insights into  WebCentral & Key Person of Influence
40:23  My Top 3 Attention Grabbers from my chat with Stephen Byron
42:31  What Have You Got To Lose?
45:33  Wrap-up and an insight in to both a past guest & next week’s guest





  1. Focus on user-friendliness. There is no business that wouldn’t benefit from this. In a recent episode Tom O’Toole from Beechworth Bakery asks the question “Would you buy it?” to ensure he’s giving customers what they want and Dom Holland from Tow.com.au points out that “Everyone’s coming to your website for one thing. Give it to them upfront.” How can you make your business more user friendly?
  2. Dream the outcome, then work backwards. Very Michael Gerber-esque. Check out my interview with Michael Gerber and his process that starts with the Dream Room.
  3. Here to Help appearing on all staff uniforms. Help being the operative word. That’s why I wrote a book about it!





Canberra Airport’s official website

What Have You Got To Lose? – How & why to visualise where your website visitors click

Interview with Jim’s Mowing Jim Penman






WebCentral – Exclusive listener offers
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What was your biggest marketing learning or ah-ha moment from this episode?

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