High Airline Fees and Lacking Customer Service- What’s Going On? by Kane Minks

by Kane Minks

Airlines should be doing everything in their power to better serve their customers in these turbulent economic times. Many air carriers have not. Extra fees and charges are disliked by passengers, but are increasing as a way for traditional air carriers to counter low-cost airlines and rising costs.  Low-cost carriers are competing on cost leadership and traditional carriers are trying new ways to differentiate their services from their competitors to attract business.

Sky Jet Kane MinksLow-cost air carriers typically operate no-frills flights at a price point comfortable to the masses. To differentiate from low-cost air carriers, traditional carriers offer products and services not typically offered by discount carriers.  Increased leg-room, First and Business classes, premium in-flight entertainment, internet, first-rate food and beverage selections, clubs, and more can cost traditional carriers and their passengers more. Many of the added fees and upgrades are “options” passengers have to make their travel experience superior to flying with a low-cost airline.

This is not to say low-cost airlines do not have additional fees, and do not offer added products and services. Traditional carriers have to strategically do what low-cost carriers are not doing, which is usually a product and service that increases costs, but provides an overall flight experience unmatched, to some extent, by low-cost carriers.

According to the August 2012 U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report, overall passenger complaints have increased from 1,128 complaints in 2011 to 1,653 complaints in 2012. This is a considerable jump of nearly 47% in only one year. Specifically, customer service complaints alone doubled, from 142 in 2011 to 284 in 2012.  This should be a clear indication airlines may not be paying enough attention to passengers.

To break it down even further, low-cost and traditional carriers differ greatly in customer satisfaction.  The 2012 J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Study results show low-cost carriers rate higher in customer satisfaction than traditional carriers. Traditional carriers averaged 647 on a 1,000 point scale versus an average low-cost carrier score of 754.  Low-cost carriers averaged 14% higher.

From these studies, traditional airlines are not just battling low-cost carrier prices, but also their customer satisfaction. Traditional carriers should, theoretically, excel in customer satisfaction. They supposedly offer some of the highest quality products and services as a competitive edge, yet they rank lower than discount airlines. Many low-cost carriers have excelled not only in customer service, but also in low prices- this has proven a winning low-cost combination for years.

When airlines should be vying for every competitive edge available, it seems some airlines may be overlooking good old-fashioned customer service and satisfaction. No matter how an airline operates, there is no reason customer service should be thrown over a cliff. It is an absolutely essential strategic component in any business today. Many businesses only have one chance per customer to do customer service right. Opportunity lost can be more costly than the price of a great customer experience. Traditional airlines have a real opportunity to improve for the benefit of their customers and their own bottom-lines.

Kane Minks

How To Use The Internet To Control A Business’ Public Relations Presence by Kane Minks

Facebook Home page. kane minks

By Kane Minks

Regardless of whether you are an online business or a local company, online PR can have either a positive or negative effect on how the public views you. Today, with so many people engaged in online social media, business and online public relations are the driving force of success or failure. Large companies can typically bounce back from bad PR but small businesses can end up losing sales or worse close completely. This is why it is so important to monitor your online PR.

The reputation of any business is the key that will keep customers coming back or turn them away. Receiving bad PR can change the perception of a company to the consumer forever. In recent times, the NFL’s replacement referee blunder at the Sea Hawks and Packers football game has grown into a PR nightmare for most. The refs made a very controversial decision on a touchdown. The NFL still has not offered a complete explanation or solution to fans and stakeholders, or at least one that will satisfy the millions of still-angry fans. Fortunately, the NFL is a large enough organization to withstand this bad press. They are a case for what not to do in a public relations situation.

As a business owner or a representative that can speak on behalf of the company, everything you say and do can spread like wildfire over the Internet. Therefore, you need to monitor anything that is said and how it is said when you’re online. Commenting on social media sites, blogs, or your own website negatively is not going to earn your company very good reviews among consumers who have a choice of where and how they purchase products.

Positive online PR happens when the reputation of a business remains strong and positive in the eyes of the consumer. Not only is it important to have a social media presence online, but it needs positive updates on a regular basis. Just setting up a fan page on Facebook and never posting doesn’t gain you any PR at all. Social media is huge, so using it to your advantage is key to your business growth as well as keeping your PR positive.

Monitoring your social media comments as well as public forum columns will help you keep your company from increasing bad PR. There are even businesses that can assist your business with press releases and with monitoring the information being discussed about your business online in real time. Keep in mind that word of mouth via social media can spread in a matter of minutes to thousands and millions, which is why it is so important to keep your online comments positive and monitor things happening online.

Kane Minks

Bringing Airlines And Passengers Together In A New Age by Kane Minks

American Airlines Gate C17 at DFW. kane minks

by Kane Minks

As the world gets more interconnected and more populated, air transportation has become more in-demand, with passenger numbers increasing by the day. This should have made things easier for airlines, but competition is getting stiffer as countries, especially in the developing world, and individual investors from the industrialized west, set up airlines.
Professor Nawal Taneja, an internationally re-known airline industry expert, identifies development, branding and communication value propositions that are mutually beneficial to customers and airlines even during the challenges facing airlines today.

An airline’s core business is the reliable, safe and fast transport of passengers and goods. However, airlines have failed to effectively brand their products/services and to communicate their value added processes to customers. Inter-connectivity has raised expectations – passengers expect the same level of service from all airlines regardless of their social status or geographical location. This is a challenge airlines have not learnt to deal with effectively.

Airlines are part of the transport chain. They should adopt strategies that enable them work with others, integrating their services with those that are offered by other players in a seamless experience. To do this, airlines need to adopt what Prof. Nawal refers to as passenger centricity, where airlines have a better understanding of passenger needs, financial ability, and willingness to pay sustainable fares. This is what is referred to as passenger intelligence. Airlines can gain this by combining business and customer intelligence, where the information that is used is timely, relevant, authentic and accessible.

Airlines should embrace technology to enhance passenger value. One such technology is the internet which has turned airlines into retailers. These days, airlines sell their services directly rather than going through brokers as they used to do before. Passengers now do not need to go to airline representatives to purchase tickets but do so on the internet. This enhances the passenger experience offered to customers by airlines. By facilitating access to the internet when on board, airlines have transformed their cabins into workstations.  By doing this, they create communication lines with passengers who feel that their needs are being taken care of. Airlines should enhance this further by facilitating enhancements and options that are controlled by passengers.

A strategy airlines need to adopt fast is that of being solution providers rather than transaction providers. This is especially relevant where customer needs deviate from universal expectations for all airlines. Most airlines are aware that the purpose of a trip and regional cultures generate different customer expectations. Different airlines need different value propositions for customers. These may be cultural, regional, or segment based.The survival of airlines will depend on how fast they adopt technology. For example, EU airlines hard hit by high fuel costs, a recession, and fare competition are taking up technology-based strategies to revamp the industry. Integrated air traffic control zones create seamless travel experience for their customers and are just some of the strategies on the table. by Kane Minks

New Product Strategy Unveiled As Apple Inc. Is Expected To Release Yet Another Top Product by Kane Minks

Apple iPad iPhone iPad Mini. kane minks. By CrunchBase

by Kane Minks

After having a lot of criticisms about its newest iPhone, Apple Inc. has been rumored to release another new and improved iPad during an event at the end of this month or next month. The event will be hosted by the company and the company has not yet released any confirmation of what is going to happen on the said date. This new product aims to be ground-breaking and able to increase their market share across the board.

The iPhone 5 was introduced to the whole world this past September. The company said it’s the biggest and best thing that ever happened to iPhone since iPhone. One of its many highlights was its thinner build. Everything was made to be faster given its brand new chip. Download time was made much faster. Apple made a mark in the technology industry once again with the release of this iPhone model. Nevertheless, a lot of consumers and technologists in the business were not satisfied with its new map services. Indeed, the company apologized publicly for the lapses and promised to make amends accordingly. With all the rumors and speculations with the newest iPhone, Apple plans to make things even more exciting for consumers with its next and brand new release of its mini iPad.

The Rumored iPad Mini

Although there has been no confirmation from the company itself, there are rumors saying that on the 23rd of October, Apple will release its mini iPad. The screen is said to be from seven to eight inches. The size makes it possible to experience iPad in a mobile kind of way.
The expected date of release for the iPad Mini is just days before Microsoft Corporation unveils its new technologies, the Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface Tablet. Microsoft happens to be Apple’s biggest competitor.

Coincidence?

According to Wall Street analysts, the attempt by Apple to introduce a smaller and cheaper version of the iPad is viewed to be a big threat to Microsoft’s margins. Simply giving consumers a cheaper  and smaller iPad but may not win the hearts of consumers. Apple is putting a lot on the line to reinvent and add a new version of the iPad, since they already have higher sales compared to last year.

Whatever is in store for the world on the 23rd, it is surely another event Apple fans will look forward to. Every consumer, media, and technology analysts is going to be buzzing that day. Apple’s newest strategy is surely calculated and slated to give Microsoft and competitors a run for their money.

Kane Minks

How Traditional Marketing Strategies Are Still At A Business’ Core Of Success by Kane Minks

Businessmen Marketing Sales Calls. Kane Minksby Kane Minks

Quite a number of studies have been done to determine which marketing strategies can warrant success, but with ever-changing global markets, companies need to be very innovative to come up with the best strategies that appeal to their target customers. However, it’s worth noting that what works for a particular company or product may not necessarily work for another. Some of these new marketing strategies that have proven effective over time are enumerated below.

  • Superior Product/Service

A great product or service is mightier than a good marketing campaign. This is one marketing principle that can build more prosperity than any other insight. This is not to say that if your product isn’t better than your competitors’ then your marketing cannot in any way communicate any unique or advantageous qualities to the market. But a much better product makes your ads more persuasive and more effectively boosts marketing success. Filling the void that exists in the market with a unique idea is one way of positioning your product or service above the competitors’, increasing market share and increasing sales and profits.

  • Public Relations

Hiring a suitable Public Relations (PR) agency can actually boost your business’ overall visibility and profitability. The agency’s role would be to get the necessary publicity by making sure that your business’ news, articles, and press releases get to the type of media outlets that is read by your target market. This publicity will increase your market visibility, credibility and sales. Examples of the media that your prospective customers get their information and news from include: newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.
Hiring a reputable PR agency that knows the influential journalists in your sector is more advantageous to you as they will be able to have any latest stories related to your organization covered in the media on a regular basis. PR firms are online and local. They have prices and plans that are matched to businesses at any level.

  • Build Strong Relationships with All Employees

Employees should be the most vital part of any company’s marketing strategy. If they feel strongly about the company, it easily reflects in their performance which helps create a positive impression on your customers and additionally within their social circles. Instilling a feel-good attitude in your employees is thus imperative in instilling in them a sense of satisfaction within the business and accordingly creating a positive image for your organization.

  • Run Promotional Offers

Running promotional offers definitely gets a lot of word-of-mouth publicity. For instance, you can decide to put your products half -price to increase traffic, get more people to talk positively about your company, and in the end convert the would-be customers to happy buyers.

You Can Make It Happen

There are many business and marketing strategies that work well. These are some of the tried and true methods that have worked time and again for businesses around the world. No matter what you choose, research and plan out a campaign that meets your current needs and will conform to the long-term goals of the business.

Kane Minks