Jeff Cutshall finds inspiration for VAS in the sky

drawing_airplaneI’m writing this blog at 31,000 feet on a Southwest Airlines flight while reflecting on how much airlines have in common with carpet cleaning. After all, in both industries clients are trusting the company with their lives.

It’s interesting seeing most airlines scramble now, just trying to keep their heads (planes) above water. Now, as if their poor customer service record wasn’t bad enough, they’re charging for simple things like checking bags or even hitting us $2.00 for a measly 6 ounces of watered down soda. The way they’re going airlines will soon be charging extra to use the restroom!

On the other hand Southwest Airlines continue doing what they’ve always done: provide consistently great customer service at a reasonable price. Love is still in the air at Southwest and I’ll do everything I can to reward them with my business!

Many of our SFS and VAST members cater to the higher-end clientele and that’s great! (Rich folks need their carpet cleaned like everyone else.) But just like Southwest I don’t think that success today depends solely on high-end customers. Southwest Airlines doesn’t even have a First Class section but EVERYONE gets treated with first-class service.

The same “equal service” principle should hold true for you. This does not mean you should be the lowest priced (I recommend just the opposite!) Remember that the physical cleaning of the carpet is the easy part. Instead, your clients are happily paying extra for such SFS Value Added concepts as:

  1. Having their Unspoken Questions answered
  2. Being given the Illusion of Control
  3. Always having their expectations exceeded
  4. Knowing that you have implemented systems to consistently repeat this process every single time you work for them. (No surprises!)

Just as I am with Southwest, your average customer should be a Cheerleader. Therefore you’ll make money no matter what else everyone else is going through in these turbulent times. Have a safe (and profitable) flight!

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