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

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

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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

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

International Success – How Shifting To A Global Strategy Requires The Right Entry To Succeed by Kane Minks

Shangai by night. Business in China. Kane Minksby Kane Minks

Many investors have turned to foreign markets with the view of doing better business and reaping large rewards. Though markets abroad offer the opportunity to flourish, practical experience has revealed they are not as easy to dominate as thought. This is due to different customs, business procedures, as well as different regulations that leave foreign investors in a disadvantaged position. Though foreign businesspeople may try and do good business, the local entrepreneurs always enjoy a remarkable advantage. Understanding the best market entry strategies for international business will make it easy for companies to enter foreign markets and succeed.

Go It Alone

There are many strategies available for those who plan to venture into foreign markets. One of the options is entering international markets alone. This means a business unilaterally enters a foreign market without the aid of other people or organizations. This is a very risky endeavor and a company should ensure that they have all the necessary resources before testing the waters. It has an advantage in the fact that if a company excels, it is going to enjoy great profits alone. On the other hand, it is going to suffer great losses if the business project does not succeed.

Owing to the perils involved, few companies are willing to venture into international markets alone. The resources required for a company to successfully venture into foreign markets depend upon a variety of factors. They include the nature of the company and the country in which the foreign market is found.

Partnerships

Many companies that delve into foreign markets they know little about enter in a partnership. This has a lot of advantages because the risks involved are shared by many companies and their strengths are shared. As such, the loss incurred by each company is greatly reduced. This is unlike the case where a particular company ventures into a foreign market alone.

For example, the Chinese government requires foreign businesses partner with Chinese companies for them to do business within China in most cases. This is greatly advantageous because the local company understands the local market better. Chances of the partnership excelling are higher as a result. This will help foreign companies, so they don’t waste time and money making mistakes as they try to familiarize with the local market.

Subsidiaries

Companies may also venture into foreign markets as subsidiaries. This is an international business market entry technique in which a company ventures into a local market as a subsidiary of a bigger parent company. Setting up a subsidiary company in a foreign country helps the subsidiary recruit local staff that is familiar with prevailing business procedures. It is therefore easier for the subsidiary to excel. Though a subsidiary operates almost independently, it receives guidance from the parent company. A subsidiary is treated like a local company and therefore enjoys any benefits offered by the foreign governments in which they are based.

Kane Minks

Spirit Airlines hit with lawsuit over fees – Business – MiamiHerald.com by Kane Minks

English: Spirit Airlines N587NK (an A321-231) ... Kane Minks

Spirit Airlines hit with lawsuit over fees – Business – MiamiHerald.com.

Kane Minks

Interesting story. Spirit is an Ultra Low Cost Carrier that makes their profits from exorbitant fees. The only thing included in their basic ticket price is the seat and the ability to carry on one personal item (like a purse or backpack). Everything else incurs a fee. This lawsuit is in reference to a certain fee they have been charging their customers for years. Their passengers love to hate them for their fare structure, but in the end they always come back. They simply offer the cheapest fares to some of the most popular destinations in the U.S., Central America, and South America. A Spirit Airlines Case Study will follow shortly……

 

Kane Minks