Well, sort of. I mean, these definitely are and I’m maybe growing up a little too. When we started these back in the day (you know, like five months ago), we originally set out with a vision to pull back the covers on the private aviation space and I originally envisioned that being less……journal-y in nature. I swear I’ve tried; every single blog post has started as something far more technical than what it ended up being published as (max payload across our various aircraft and what that means turned into our fleet, an article on fuel costs and how surcharges work turned into “by the numbers”), but they always morphed into a mix of semi-polished commentary and (my) inner dialogue/stream of consciousness on our business and the people that make it all possible. And the thought hit me this time, nobody cares about the technical stuff, but they do care about the business and the people that make it all possible.
I’d suspected this was the case for a while, but very recently had this confirmed. Last Thursday, we took a random (you know how I like my randomness with these things) sampling of clients current and past and, in an effort to continue improving experience incrementally, pushed out some short surveys focused around customer expectations, experience delivery, and priorities. You know what I learned? We’re the product. Not a figurative “we” as in Silverhawk, but a more literal “we” the people of Silverhawk. Sure, sure, other factors are important (and our clients were kind enough to tell us which of those other factors matter most), I would never suggest otherwise, but when a full 75% of all respondents – when answering the question “what’s one thing we do that shouldn’t ever change” – refer to the teams and people we have in place, it makes it clear what matters the most and what our product really is.
And believe it or not, aaaalllllll of the above was what ran through my head right before this thought. The right people, in the right roles, with the right support, in the right organization can do magical things. And while we were pretty certain before, we’re certain beyond a shadow of a doubt now that we’ve got the right people, in the right roles, with the right support, and we’re definitely the right organization.
What I’m really trying to say with all this is that we hear you. We didn’t ask for your time and thoughts for the sake of it. This isn’t a “box” to check for us. We’re big believers that progress is incremental (often no matter how much we want it to come in leaps and bounds) and the most reliable way to make those improvements is with guidance from those we serve. In short, you (our customers) will see a lot of the feedback incorporated into our experience delivery and programs over the next year
As an aside, I’m a huge fan of customer surveys. They’re like the platinum rule’s platinum rule except people are telling you how they expect to be treated before you treat them differently than that. Good survey questions will garner good response rates and insightful responses. Good response rates and insightful feedback from the people that pay you to do something for them feels like cheating. If you don’t do it today in your business, start.