Avionics News February 2017 - 62
Continued from page 61
Use frequently asked questions, links to your blog posts,
videos, and downloadable files, and add a banner to your
home page that directs them to these pages. This helps
visitors find this information, and it gives prospects
searching online a Google result that matches their needs.
For online ad buys and social media, it gives a destination
you can refer.
2. Videos. Create video content that follows projects
from tear-down to completion to provide a behind-thescenes view of what, exactly, a customer is paying for.
This demystifies the space behind his panel and the
systems installed in an airplane, and it demonstrates why
your service requires time and expense. While your intent
should be to provide unbiased, agnostic explanations, you
could also describe what you do differently - and why - to
help you define your unique selling position.
3. Events. Visit pilot-club meetings, instrument groundschool classes, homebuilder chapters, fly-ins, and other
gatherings, and give presentations on the work that occurs
in your shop. If you're hosting an open house and you
have customer permission, talk about an in-progress job to
demonstrate the process, as well.
4. Reports. White papers, e-books, get-started guides
and case studies provide detailed insight into the process
of repair, installation or upgrades that a customer can take
with him to review in the comfort of his favorite reading
spot. Likewise, these also serve as useful leave-behinds or
mailers to attendees of seminars and trade shows that they
can reference later in their buying cycle.
5. Host prospects. While customers in need of fast
repair may not have the luxury of time, those with
premeditated projects may enjoy a chance to walk through
your shop, see jobs in progress, and take a more deliberate
learning path. That benefits both of you; while he gets to
see what's involved, you gain more time to answer his
questions and form a relationship that can make the job run
smoother once he hands you the keys.
Even with the best educational plan, your job isn't
done once they're informed and committed. Regardless
of the scale of the job, you want to keep customers
informed of your progress with continuous contact, and
that will require you to employ several customer-service
Stepping outside of aviation for a moment, the ridehailing company Uber has earned service marks for one
thing in particular: It manages its customers' expectations
with frequent communications. Through its app, it informs
riders of surge pricing during busy times or inclement
weather, estimated time of arrival and so forth. The lesson
for you is to communicate openly with customers - again,
as you'd expect to be treated - and keep them informed of
progress, timeline and budget.
For example, you probably talked owners through the
process up front, but continue to do so at each milestone
along the way; that way, they know what's been done,
what's happening now, and what will happen next. When
something goes wrong, tell them what you're doing
to address the problem. If warranty work is involved,
explain that process and time frame. Advise them of the
point where changes in work orders beyond the bid will
significantly delay the job and raise costs - and why.
Respect that this may be emotion-heavy territory, so
serve the person, not just the project. But at the same
time, stay honest and objective, especially when they
see their machine in pieces, with no clear end in sight,
and they're suffering disruptions to their recreational or
Do that two ways. First, schedule regular phone
conversations to keep them updated, particularly at those
milestones or when you have news to share, and adhere to
them regularly. Send photos that document your progress,
too, or invite a local pilot in for a look so he knows you're
on top of the job.
Second, answer questions enthusiastically. Certainly,
he'll have some, so build time into project management to
address his uncertainty and manage his expectations. This
is yet another time to reinforce his confidence and trust
while boosting his foundational knowledge, and it's a way
for him to feel involved in the process, not someone who's
just along for the ride.
That service and education - and, obviously, the
quality of your work - is what he'll remember after
you've delivered the completed airplane, and it's what
will inspire him to refer you to other pilots who need
work done, too. It comes from focusing on the longterm goal of creating a customer who trusts you with
every airplane he owns, not just on a job that fills hours
on your shop floor. While it takes some time and effort
to get this new owner smart to the ways of avionics
work, it can create a lifelong relationship that returns
To grow your business, you'll need new customers. The
savvy shop owner should want to serve everyone who
finds his way through the door - even if sometimes they
have to guide him along the way. q