Ten Secrets That Will Keep Your ‘Love Affair’ With An FBO Alive!
It’s no secret that the greatest asset an FBO can have is its people. Its people are the front line that you, the customer, sees as you taxi onto the ramp, come in through the front door or parachute in during a special event!
Here are some things to look for when you want your expensive jet, turboprop or J3 Cub, cared for by the people at the FBO as if it were their own.
FBO’S are up against some incredibly stiff competition these days as fuel prices vary from day to day, large conglomerates take over smaller FBO’s (do you want a slightly cheaper fuel price at the cost of better, more personalized, loyal service?) and other challenges that the ‘average’ FBO succumbs to.
Below are Ten Secrets of a great FBO that will have you coming back time and again.
(1) What can the FBO provide that the competition doesn’t? What do they do better? What’s your first impression of their service? How are you treated on the line, at the counter, when you’re in a hurry, or when you’re less than civil in your treatment of the FBO’s employees?
(2) Do they have Competitive, Cooperative Fuel Programs? Such as Ascent, AVCARD, BaseOps, World Fuel Services, and points awarded to FlyBuys members? Do they accept payment from most major fuel programs and credit cards like Rockwell-Collins, Everest, UV Air, World Fuel, Colt and more?
(3) Are they listed and up to date in publications like AC-U-KWIK, AOPA or AirNav? These publications give you information about the FBO that you can’t get anywhere else. Check these often to make sure they’re up to date and check this information against what you actually see at the FBO.
(4) Do they care about you? This might seem like a silly question but do they care enough about you to maintain contact with you? Do you get email updates from them? Is their blog up to date and interesting or is it just a bunch of statistics without it “talking to you” and your needs? Are you just another “pretty airplane” or new tail number that they’ve never seen before or they give you the impression that they care less about seeing you again? If so, keep your engine running and go elsewhere if possible!
(5) Is their website interesting, visually attractive and updated often to keep you “in the loop” as to what the FBO is doing to better serve you? This one is becoming increasingly important as more business is done online. Do they spell out clearly who they are, why they want your business, what they will do to get it and keep it, and why they’re a better choice than other FBO’s in the area? Is their website easily found on search engines? That means they’re constantly looking out for your best interests. Does their website “tell their story” in a way that helps you “know, like and trust” them?
(6) Are they on social media? Social media communication is a key to their taking business, and you, seriously. Sites like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube to mention the most prominent. If they are, this shows that they are interested in keeping you informed. That interest translates to how they will treat you when you become a customer.
(7) Do they provide incentives for you to do business with them? Like contests, giveaways, i.e. flight crew freebies, crew cars, comfortable lounges, concierge service, a bottle of wine – especially nice when you fly into northern California wine country – and certified tour guide customer service agents.
(8) Do they provide you with places of interest around the FBO, transportation and passes to those places, along with skilled, certified people to give you the kind of tour you would expect from a great FBO?
(9) Do they take the time and commit the resources to “getting to know you” so they can better serve your needs and desires? This might take the form of feedback requests to find out what they’re doing right and what they’re not doing that you would like them to do.
(10) Do they freely admit areas where they are dropping the ball, things that need improvement? This tells you a lot about their authenticity and their vulnerability, which goes a long way to building the kind of trust that will keep you coming back as a regular customer.
If you have anything to add to this list, we would like to hear it so KaiserAir can “check all the boxes” on being the kind of FBO that you look forward to visiting.