It’s Not You It’s Me
Breaking up is hard to do, which explains why there are so many songs about it. The same applies to air charter brokers, jet card membership companies, and air carriers. Once you are in that groove of doing business, it can be hard to make a change, even when one is not only necessary, but in the best interest of you and/or your clients. This blog will help you evaluate if your relationship needs fixing, or if a new private jet partner is in order.
Where Did the Passion Go?
Remember when the relationship started? Your private charter expert treated you like a high flyer. Remember all the calls in the beginning? The attention? That nice visit they made to meet you? Now, you are lucky just to get your call returned the same day. No apology, they just talk about being “really busy” trying to get new air charter clients, or how they have been on the road working a large group air charter program. Your charter requests sometimes sit, and you have to send the “I was wondering if you had a chance to look at this?” emails. Wonder no more. When a vendor starts to behave as if they can’t be bothered, time to look for a new vendor. Your business deserves as much, if not more, attention now as it was getting in the beginning.
They Just Aren’t That Into You
It happens. You start to feel like your air charter needs are not really that important to your broker. Responses are late, details are missed, communication is spotty. Customer service issues are met with a shrug of the shoulders. It’s ok. Be objective and think about if your business may just be a bad fit for a particular vendor. Perhaps you need a high touch boutique charter broker, or your contact is just burned out. Ask yourself if the level of service that you are receiving is something that you would be happy with for your own clients.
Not Exactly the Truth
Business cultures keep evolving, and fortunately part of that evolution is the recognition that those little “white lies” vendors tell clients are just that; lies. You deserve the unvarnished truth. If you are starting to become uncomfortable because your air charter partner is creating fictions to account for service anomalies, it is time to evaluate that relationship and decide if a change is in order.
Wait, I Thought You Were the Expert!
If it is starting to feel like you know more than your charter broker or operator, it is time to start looking for a vendor that adds value. You are paying for expertise and experience, and cannot afford to let new, under-trained, or inexperienced staff learn on the fly by making mistakes on your private jet bookings.
First things first, communicate your concerns with your vendor. Keep it factual but be honest about what it is that you are dissatisfied with. If it is response time, say that. If it is perceived rudeness or abruptness, “That’s a problem” as Robert De Niro would say. Good manners should go without saying, but sometimes poor service can be attributed to cultural differences or communication styles. Put it out there, and you may be surprised how quickly and effectively your charter provider responds to make the situation right. If they don’t, then you have confirmed that you need a new one. Or, if you really like the company but are finding your contact unbearable to work with, call someone further up the chain and ask for a new face. A company that values your business will be grateful that you made the call.
Finding Someone New
Ok, you are ready to make the jump. Mr. Google can help you with finding lots of air charter professionals to help you navigate the complex world of private air charter. The catch is that anyone can have a nice website. How do you qualify your next air charter partner? Ask them questions, lots of them. How long have they been in business? Has their company ever filed for bankruptcy? Check social media and other online resources to see if there are any court cases or untoward behaviors that you would be better to avoid. Check up on ownership. The last thing you want to find out is that the company owners were run out of a different industry and took their bad habits to the world of private flying. Is their social media professional? Air charter is a serious business that requires a serious partner. Ask if they have ever been associated with any aircraft incidents or accidents. Search the web for DOT and or FAA violations.
Equally as important, give them a test drive. Did the phone ring into the night when you made the initial call? Did the staff seem frazzled and just wanted to get you moved along? If you inquired via email or their website, how long did it take to get a response? Were there lots of layers and hoops for you to jump through? If things are difficult in the initial contact stage, the odds of you being treated well and valued when it comes time to do business are very slim indeed. Before switching from your current air charter partner, try giving the new company a try and compare the two services. Lastly, trust your instinct. If the relationship is causing you more stress than your worst date ever, it’s time to move on.