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  • Thomas Goyette

First Impressions are a Must

Updated: May 31, 2018

Whether an FBO’s new client is a casual weekend enthusiast or a commercial pilot opting to refuel, it is important to reflect a positive image even as their aircraft is being taxied in. The operation’s crew members and customer service representative (CSR) must show cohesion and uniformity in their actions.


Even before the aircraft enters the hangar and your client finds them self in the office they are critiquing the professionalism and movements of the Line Crew Personnel, taking note if there are safety cones placed before each aircraft, or if your equipment is neatly lined up or in disarray. FBO’s must remember that their clients are trusting them with aircraft that can cost upwards of $60 million dollars and that they only have one opportunity to give a good first impression with their service. After all, an FBO must gain their client’s trust before they can gain their loyalty.


At times, FBO’s can fall into the habit of worrying about their own day-to-day operations while forgetting that this is a customer-centric business. It is important to view the FBO from the client’s perspective from the first call they they make to a CSR, to the order they can readily see while taxiing in, to the prompt service they receive from arrival to departure.


The idea is that at times a loyal customer is not enough, they also need to be a fan. Just as much as one may rave about their favorite sports team, it is important to know they are also talking about your FBO in the same light. This type of publicity is healthy for any company, so long as the client has maintained a positive relationship with not only the CSR’s but also any Line Crew Personnel that they have encounter. Remember, competing on customer service experiences is equally as important as competing on cost- some clients will choose to pay more if they believe they are well cared for.


Loyal clients may overlook minute details as a tradeoff for familiarity with your FBO, however, a new client will notice if a simple request was forgotten or even if someone on the Line Crew ever looked as if they were working without direction. FBO’s must ensure that their operation is clean, orderly, and prompt as both positive and negative experiences will be talked about.


The best advertisement in any business, of course, is word of mouth and a good reputation. In order to achieve the best experience for your clients, and the best results for your FBO, proper records must be kept and every task must be executed in a timely manner. FBO’s require a streamlined system that offers little room for error, simplifies their operation, and simultaneously allows the FBO to offer a world class customer experience that will be sure to impress.


This type of situational ownership builds trust both with clients who have had no issue, and especially with clients who have suffered some type of delay or mistake that was swiftly resolved. While the FBO industry can be unforgiving, most customers will be understanding if a dispute is handled professionally and in a timely manner. Equipping employees with the tools and confidence to do so is essential to building a healthy relationship with your clients from day one.