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Entries in Internal Culture (2)


Creating a Strong Customer-Centric FBO Culture Begs the Question: What Do Customers Really Want? 

Creating a strong customer-centric internal culture at your FBO has many benefits, chief among them being the ability to build long-term profitable customer relationships. The starting point for creating this customer-friendly environment is to listen to your customer by putting yourself in their shoes.

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The Three Elements of a Successful FBO Internal Culture 

By John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson, Principals, Aviation Business Strategies Group (ABSG)

Customers can get the feel of an FBO from the moment they make first contact, whether it's over the phone, website, email, social media or in person. The feel or impression they get is a direct reflection on the organization's internal culture, which is characterized by the tone and demeanor by which the FBO communicates and delivers its services.

Every FBO should have an idea of the image or impression its internal culture projects. Is it warm and friendly or cold and indifferent or perhaps somewhere in between?

Often times internal culture takes on the persona of the leadership of the company. As an example, let's look at Southwest Airlines. For many years, the company was led by Herb Kelleher, the colorful principal who fostered an internal culture that gave the industry no-frills, low-cost airfares characterized by peanuts — the only snack served in flight. If you've ever flown on Southwest, you would probably have the impression that the flight attendants are full of energy, have a lot of fun and love their job.

At its corporate headquarters at Dallas Love Field in Dallas, Texas, the same kind of culture exists as it does onboard the aircraft. The walls are filled with employee photos having fun, and its human resources department is called the People Department. This is further testament to Kelleher's operating philosophy of people first, customers second and shareholders third. He felt that if you treat your people well as a priority, then this will translate into happy employees, which create a team-spirited culture that proves to be customer centric.

For the FBO industry, many customers who are loyal to specific FBO brands indicate they are driven in their choices by three main internal cultural elements:

                1. A strong safety culture.

                2. A customer-centric or conscious culture.

                3. A team-spirited culture.

In talking and working with many FBOs through our FBO Success Seminarcustomer service training program and operational consulting initiatives we find the most successful FBOs incorporate these three internal cultural elements.

With the advent of the Safety Management System (SMS) and IS-BAH registration programs, FBOs are investing more and more in safety risk management. They are finding that aircraft operators, particularly those that fly internationally, are casting a discerning yet favorable eye towards FBOs that have instituted a strong safety culture.

Please leave a comment on this subject below. If you have any questions, please give us a call or send us an email:, 404-867-5518;, 972-979-6566.


John Enticknap has more than 35 years of aviation fueling and FBO services industry experience and is an IS-BAH Accredited auditor. Ron Jackson is co-founder of Aviation Business Strategies Group and president of The Jackson Group, a PR agency specializing in FBO marketing and customer service training. Visit the biography page or for more background.


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