FBOs To Compete On Service, Not Price In 2013

A Steady 6 Percent Growth For FBOs Forecasted


January 23, 2013, NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, San Antonio, TX.— According to John Enticknap and Ron Jackson, Principals of Aviation Business Strategies Group (ABSG), the FBO industry is shifting from a price sensitive business model to one based on providing an exceptional customer service experience.

 

“FBOs competing on price is an archaic way of doing business,” Enticknap told a group of FBO industry leaders attending the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Schedule and Dispatchers (S&D) Conference. “In today’s tough business climate, FBOs are operating on very thin margins yet the cost of doing business continues to rise. Therefore, in order to stay in business, FBOs can’t afford to wholesale fuel. They must find other ways to differentiate and the best way is to offer outstanding customer service.”

 

According to Jackson, FBOs are taking customer service training very seriously. “Just as FBOs don’t tolerate mishaps on the ramp, they are becoming more conscious of eliminating miscues with the way they deliver customer service. Research indicates that loyal customers don’t stop doing business with a company because of price, but rather because of a poor customer service experience. However, most will return if you recognize and fix the problem.”

 

One of the ways Jackson suggests to improve the customer service experience is to standardize training and look for ways to motivate employees in a way where they take ownership of problems when they arise.

 

“Just like a restaurant owner, you have to be there for the customer,” Jackson explained. “Empowering FBO employees to own their mistakes at the time of transaction is crucial. Teaching them to effectively deal with customer dissatisfaction helps make for a long-term profitable customer relationship.”

 

In addressing the economic outlook for the FBO Industry in 2013, Enticknap said most FBOs should experience steady growth in business in the range of 4 to 6 percent.

 

“The FBO industry has not fully recovered from the economic downturn over the past several years,” Enticknap said. “Yes, 2012 was a better year than 2011, but there has been a modest shakeout of FBOs who had been operating marginally. Going forward, it looks like there will be a slight increase in the number of flight hours being flown by corporate flight departments and charter operators. However, more efficient aircraft and the practice of tankering will make 2013 another challenging year for the industry. If an FBO achieves a growth in business of 6 percent or more, they will be a star performer”

 

Both Enticknap and Jackson will be attending the S&D Conference and will be available for questions at the ACUWKIK Booth #1036. Together they write an industry blog called FBO Connection which is published by AC-U-KWIK as part of their AC-U-KWIK Alert eNewletter.

 

In addition, there will be a drawing at the AC-U-KWIK booth for a free National Air Transportation Association (NATA) FBO Success Seminar Registration for the next seminar to be held March 11, 12 in Las Vegas, NV. The free registration is valued at $650. Enticknap and Jackson are the facilitators for the acclaimed NATA seminar.

 

About Aviation Business Strategies Group

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