Well, back at the coal face, via a quick trip to Canada and the USA. Canada for a funeral and USA to visit family while on the other side of the pond.
It strikes me that we set up in business for a reason and we grow or try to grow our business for the same reason.
As business owners we strive to do our jobs well, network, tweet, Facebook etc in the busy non stop 24 hour news lives we lead these days.
We stay on message and show our human sides from time to time.
Build and Grow, or so we are or were taught, if you are of a certain age and not from Generation X or Y.
Which brings me to disappointment.
I stay in Scotland, in South Queensferry as it happens. Pretty part of the world, wet and very green.
Now, to get to Canada there was only one airline I could use really to get there directly. It was disappointing initially that they did not have some of the usual comforts, no seat back tv, having to pay for alcohol and water etc (or so I thought). However the reality of it was very different. As a family going to a funeral rather than a holiday is never a pleasant thing. On the go for over 22 hours to get to Canada doesn’t make it any easier either.
However, the airline were very courteous, flight attendants, very pleasant, meal was rubbish, but airline food is never great and wine was served at dinner for those who wanted it. Water and all soft drinks were all free and served throughout the flight. Although there was no seat back TV, they still had good entertainment options and you could just connect your own headphones to the plane’s system. Showed 3 films and a few other TV shows.
I was very surprised, and pleased.
How compare and contrast. We have family in the USA, 50 miles outside Boston. I flew on an American airline to Philidelphia and then to Boston. 2 flights, 3 hours in the air. Nothing served at all. Any options, had to be paid for. No frills and not cheap either.
For the return leg, I chose a large UK based airline. I chose them, although I hadn’t flown with them in probably 10 years, but they have great marketing and a supposed feel good factor. Their corporate colours are primarily red.
They weren’t cheap, although I used the miles I had with them to get a so called free flight, which thanks to UK Government duties and tax, still cost £150.
When entering the plane, I had prepaid for extra legroom, which was fine, but on the charter airline, we had 32″ as normal, on this so called premium airline, its normal only for 31″.
Also, now discovered that all extras, snacks etc, have to be paid for as well. Flight attendants were ok, nothing more, no vaunted service, much ballyhooed in their adverts.
Plane, quite tired Airbus. All in all disappointed. I didn’t get the experience I had thought I was going to get, the service was nothing more than passable and al in all it has caused me to think again about using this airline again.
So in business, does this mean that image is everything and delivery is nothing. In the second case yes. The very public profile is exactly that. I was seduced by my memory of the service, which was above and beyond but is now most defiantly not. All style and no substance. It may be great in Upper Class, but how can I tell from my seats in economy?
Whereas the initial flight and airline, a charter airline was very pleasant and pleasing, due to my low level of expectation which they by far surpassed.
It just goes to show. Not all adverts are correct. You need exposure, but the right kind and no matter what deliver what you have said, otherwise, you may end up gaining some short term business but loose out over the longer term.