I often hear people involved in General Aviation saying we can’t grow the pilot population because it is too expensive. Last month I wrote an email about the prices some people pay for luxury cars, watches and household appliances. You can find that email here.
Here’s the thing …
When it comes to student retention the questionsome customers are asking is not whether it’s too expensive, but whether it’s worth it.
Those of us who already fly intimately understand the value that flying brings us. Is it possible then, to look at value as a formula to see how our clients may be viewing it?
I want you to imagine two scenarios in which you are driving and the oil change light illuminates on the instrument panel. The cost to change the oil is about $70.
In the first scenario you are driving a rental. The car rental company won’t reimburse you for the cost of the oil change since they do their own servicing, and they won’t give you points or credits either.
In the next scenario you are driving your own car. The cost is still $70, but you know that changing the oil will extend the life of the car, keep it more reliable, and keeping detailed service records will increase the resale price of the car when you sell it.
In both examples the cost is the identical, but the value in the second scenario is clearly much higher than in the first.
So what does this mean when it comes to pilot training?
It means we’re not motivated to take action based on price, but based on the perceived return on money spent.
When we can show how flying will add value to customers’ lives, students will commit to completing their training. If we can’t, students will drop out of training.
For each of your customers the value proposition will be different depending on whether they are learning to fly for a career, have a small business, distant family, kids in college, are retired, etc.
To increase student retention we need to tailor our communications to address the value we bring to individual customers and not just the cost of learning to fly. You can read an email I sent about segmenting customers here.
I’ve posted an example of how this might look on Instagram, but I’m also curious to hear your thoughts. Hit reply and tell me how you demonstrate the value that flying brings to your life to people who express an interest in flying.
Till next week!