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Great customer service doesn’t just grow on trees — it takes a constant, concerted effort from every person in an organization to employ proper customer service techniques each day.

However, beyond that, it also means being receptive to customer feedback—even asking for it—can pay off for an organization. Because when you truly listen to feedback and learn from it, you’re able to make changes that can better your processes, your team and your organization as a whole.

That, precisely, has been the secret behind Pentastar Aviation’s success. This world-class FBO in Waterford, Michigan, (KPTK) is regularly voted by pilots as a Top FBO in the country in both the Aviation International News FBO Survey and Professional Pilot Magazine PRASE Survey.

Pentastar attributes this success, in part, to the customer feedback it receives through its internal survey process. This process, which engages every member of the team, allows customers to provide feedback on all aspects of the FBO’s services.

Following its top spots in last year’s surveys—voted #1 FBO in the Great Lakes, #3 FBO in the Americas in the AIN Survey, #2 Best Independent FBO and #3 Best U.S. FBO in the Pro Pilot PRASE Survey—Pentastar Aviation is at it again with a clever campaign to incentivize feedback so its staff can learn, grow and adapt.

Celebrating the fall season and the company’s Michigan roots where trips to the cider mill and apple picking are traditions passed on to each generation, Pentastar is rewarding its guests for providing feedback with Apple gift cards. Through the end of the year, all guests who visit the FBO and complete a customer satisfaction survey will be entered into a random monthly drawing for a chance to win a $100 Apple gift card. At the end of the year, one random winner will be drawn for the final reward of a $500 Apple gift card. Nice rewards for just giving feedback!

However, if you think about it, Pentastar is the real winner of the promotion. The surveys are looked at by all levels of the organization, including the owner and chairman—Edsel B. Ford II. The company uses the data to improve on its operational processes as well as to give the team a Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is a management tool used to gauge the loyalty of an operation’s customers and may even correlate with revenue growth.

So how can you apply this concept to your business?

Although incentives typically help, you don’t always have to utilize them or even shell out big bucks to solicit customer feedback. What’s most important is the sincerity with which you ask for feedback and your focus on the customer’s experience.

If you don’t have the resources to put together a customer satisfaction survey, you can still begin to apply this concept immediately. All you have to do is ask…

  • Ask customers before they go if there’s anything more that can be done for them.
  • Ask them to reach out to you directly with any feedback they may have.
  • Have feedback cards on hand and request they use them.
  • Ask them that if they enjoyed your service, would they consider voting for your operation in industry surveys.

Furthermore, when feedback is given, make sure you actively listen to the customer. When directly speaking with someone, focus intently on what they’re saying, not how you’re going to respond. If in person, engage with proper eye contact and body language (leaning in, nodding), and—if the feedback is negative—repeat back the customer’s concern and provide a plan of action for how the issue will be addressed and a timeframe in which you will get back to them. Then, always thank the customer, whether it was praise or a complaint (after all, they chose to give you feedback and the opportunity to fix the problem, rather than simply leaving disgruntled, never to return).

The most important thing your operation can do to show that you’ve listened—and to thrive as a business while promoting customer loyalty—is to take the feedback to heart and adapt. Where there is feedback there is an opportunity for growth, and where there is praise there is the chance to share accomplishments with those who deserve recognition. Both are important for team morale and establishing a culture of care.

By asking, listening and adapting, you can foster an environment that values progress and service, which benefits your team, your company and your customers all at once.  Now that’s customer service a bushel and a peck above the rest!

Flight operators: learn more about Pentastar Aviation and make a reservation today.

This post was sponsored by Pentastar Aviation, a member of the Avfuel-Branded Network.