Do you know where your customers come from? Most likely you don’t, but that’s understandable. Short of making everyone fill out a card asking where the person heard about you, there’s no way to really know where your prospects are coming from.
As part of AOPA’s research into the optimal flight training experience the question was asked how the person came to find his or her flight school. What came through were some interesting lessons into the nature of consumers, but more importantly, the strong social connection of flight training.
Here are the four biggest sources:
Because responses came from an open-ended question, many categories overlapped. A major sub-plot to this survey is that when you add up categories with similar themes, word-of-mouth referrals came in significantly higher than anything else at 57 percent. That means despite all the advertising, outreach, websites, airport days, and everything else you do, how you treat your current customers directly influences more than half of your future customer base.
Depending on how well you perform in this area, the number is either a golden opportunity or a major concern. The only way to ensure you are in the former category is to be absolutely sure you know how your customers feel about your school. A golden rule is that if you have doubt in your mind how a customer would respond if asked about your school, then chances are their response won’t be to your liking.
The most direct way to do this is through a survey. Don’t miss the opportunity to know exactly how your customers feel by asking them to fill out a survey when the training is over. No survey is effective without action, so make sure to make significant and lasting changes based on the feedback.
Better yet, don’t wait until the student is done with his course. Get to know him, ask him how the training is progressing while it’s ongoing, and again, take action when things aren’t to your satisfaction or his.