As we continue to build our business and gain new customers for our aircraft management services in Europe and Asia, we find that there are 4 topics that always seem to be at the core of any agreement we enter into.
While some customers ask directly, others with less experience don’t necessarily know what to ask so it’s important for us to ask the questions and learn what their concerns are. In either scenario, these 4 things rise to the top:
- Access to leadership. Customers want to know who they’re working with and that they are getting the kind of knowledge, decision making capabilities and expertise being promised. This is often best voiced by experienced owners who have worked with aircraft management companies that initially provide a good “front” of senior people but then delegate most of the actual work down a long chain of levels. In our experience these customers feel that they’re left without a good understanding of who is looking after their aircraft. They don’t feel they have access to the people who finalized the agreement, whether those are the company executives or middlemen who pitched them.
- A Suite of Services that cover what customers need now and what they may need in the future.Great partnerships in our industry result in the mutual growth of each company involved. Clients want an aircraft management partner to have a host of services that can keep up with those growth opportunities. While they may begin their relationship with crew and maintenance, expansion can mean they’ll want services that include things like an available AOC, Charter capabilities for aircraft downtime, Entry Into Service or development of corporate SOP’s.
- Global Knowledge. Let’s face it, we’re in the business of making the world smaller for people. Customers need to know that their management company can solve problems for them wherever their aircraft may land. They want people who have built up a knowledge base of locations, laws and practices that will allow them to operate smoothly throughout the world. They expect that you’ll be able to put people with local knowledge on the ground to assist whenever necessary.
- Industry knowledge: Business, Commercial and Private. Customers want a partner who understands their business and can anticipate their needs. They don’t want to have to educate a management firm on the intricacies of their operating needs. Whether the aircraft mission is business, commercial or private, clients want to feel comfortable that you are aware and focused on how to move things forward to their benefit.
Ultimately, we’re all in the business of listening to customers and helping them achieve their goals within the business of flight. It’s up to us to have the right people, location, access and knowledge in place to play our role in supporting their successful ventures.