aviation professionals

5 Reasons Your Phone Etiquette Is Terrible

Whether it’s you, an aircraft parts vendor, an MRO or someone entirely different,  having good phone skills is crucial in an international environment.

But sadly this is far from what we experience in the aviation industry. It’s tragic.


When I approach a vendor for procurement purposes, my eyes are set on the end result; a successful purchase in time for my requisition requirements.

But sadly I end up making contact with someone that has as much energy as a snail. Slow moving and couldn't care less about my needs.

When I reach a sales manager often times I’ll get the “I’ll call you back in an hour.”  When that hour arrives and I don’t hear from them, I call them back. You would be surprised how often I get, “He’s out to lunch for an hour, can I take a message?”

First who takes an hour lunch and second who tells someone they’ll call them back during the time they know they're going to lunch?

It makes no sense.

Or how about this one. People ask you to email them and they never acknowledge, respond or cater toward your email. So why did they tell you to email them in the first place?

Bad phone etiquette

There are some fundamental truths when talking on the phone. One is  to greet the other person with respect. “Good afternoon Skylink” or “It was nice talking with you ___, take care.”  Simple yet respectful.

The next fundamental truth is to follow up on your commitments. If you tell someone you're going to do something, then do it. Plain and simple. If I tell you I’m going to email you in an hour, I’m going to email you in an hour. If I don’t, I’m going to tell you why my email is going to be delayed.

It’s about communication fundamentals.

If you make these 5 mistakes, your phone etiquette is terrible:

  • You say, I’ll call you back in 15 minutes and never do.
  • You say, send me an email and never do anything when the email is received.
  • You yell something to your coworker, or even worse, you have a full conversation with them.
  • You answer, “HELLO."
  • You’re monotone.

Follow these 5 rules instead to make sure you're doing it right:

  1. Greet with energy - nobody wants to talk to a sourpuss.
  2. Do what you say you're going to do - don’t say one thing and do another.
  3. Avoid the hold button - people hate being put on hold.
  4. Listen and learn - don’t interrupt or talk to your co-worker.
  5. Smile - don't’ be so serious or dry.

Practicing good phone etiquette should be on everyone's mind. I don’t care if you're an airline, MRO, supplier or freight forwarder.

Having good communication skills is a necessity to build lasting relationships that you can count on. [TWEET THIS]

Have you had an experience where the person on the other line was disconnected? Comment below.

Excuse Epidemic: Are You a Culprit or Victim?

Whether you like it or not, you’re very much a part of the excuse epidemic. Airlines, OEMs, aftermarket suppliers and especially MROs have been affected by this plague.


You hear it day in and day out. Maybe your MRO provider called you and said “sorry to inform you but the average overhaul we quoted was actually under quoted by a $1,000. The OEM raised their price.”

All you will probably get is “Sorry for the inconvenience.”

No plans to make things right, no sincere apology and a possible solution. Just a requote and a “Sorry for the inconvenience.

Why the excuse epidemic exists

The excuse epidemic exists for one inherent reason. People are selfish.

I know that may be a little harsh but it’s true.

Excuses are born by people wanting the easy way out. I’m sure you’ve dealt with this on many occasions.

People would rather point the finger at a problem than take ownership that the problem was created by them.

Excuses come from laziness to correct an issue.

We all make mistakes but it’s how we try to overcome them that makes a difference.

What we can do to resolve this

Things happen. No matter who you are, where you’re from or what industry you deal with. Problems will always occur.

Plain and simple.

But do we make an excuse of why this issue occurred or do we report the problem with possible solutions? I’ll take the latter rather than the former.

Instead of making excuses, a conscious effort needs to be made to find solutions to the current issue.  [TWEET THIS]

Making an excuse is the easy way out. Finding a solution is a win / win strategy.

We've all been a culprit and a victim of the excuse epidemic. Whether you’re an airline, aftermarket supplier, OEM or MRO you've been on both sides.

I challenge you today to make a conscious effort to not be and not tolerate excuse makers. 

Find solutions.

Have you been the victim of the excuse epidemic? Comment below.

What A Small Burger Joint Can Teach Aviation Professionals

I’m just going to throw this out there and you tell me if I’m wrong. Good customer service in the aviation world is often times…nonexistent.

customer service

Most companies worry about the sale and couldn't care less about your needs, wants, stresses or the 1,000 other things you have going on.

Don’t get me wrong sales is still important, otherwise how would anyone survive? Too much attention goes into the sale and not enough focus on the human behind the purchase.

You know what I’m talking about don’t you?

Well, I love great customer service and I’m sure you’re no different.

My burger joint experience

Just recently I decided to try a new local restaurant called BurgerFi.

It’s a nice little restaurant where the atmosphere is casual and the air smells like grease. Yum!

But of course eating like this is on occasion, right?

I go up to the counter and order 3 traditional burgers (of course not all of them are for me) and proceed to pay. They give me a gadget that vibrates when your meal is ready and we go sit down.

About 10 minutes later the little gadget still hasn't gone off. This is annoying and way too long for 3 simple burgers.

I go to the register and see my order sitting on the counter. Visibly frustrated I direct my attention to the manager. I told him that their little gadget didn't go off and there's only 2 burgers on the tray and I ordered 3.

I pull out the receipt to show him that as a customer I’m always right. But only 2 burgers were on the ticket. Yikes! Now at this point he probably thinks I’m full of you know what but I told him ordered 3. There must have been a miscommunication.

Obviously, right?

He said he’ll take care of it and had another burger tossed on the grill. I went to the register to pay and not shortly after he handed me the missing burger.

He said not to worry about paying. The burger was on the house.

Now, you may be thinking it’s only a $4.49 burger but it's MUCH more than that.

Regardless if I was lying or not he was willing to listen to his customer and make things right.

By this simple, low cost gesture he acquired a lifelong customer / advocate (as long as they don’t ruin it).

Lesson to be learned

You see, the story above isn't about how I got a burger for free. It’s about how great this small burger joint, BurgerFi made me feel.

In that moment I felt special, cared about and genuinely appreciated.

As aviation professionals, many of whom you deal with go about their day, they often forget that it’s the small things that matter most to you.

Now, it may be nice but you're not looking to be given a $25,000 actuator to “make things right.” But you would appreciate someone who cares about you as a person. Someone who listens, takes notes and makes things right.

I know this because I’m that person as well.

If we can learn one thing from my friends at BurgerFi, it’s to make people who you work with feel special, because they are.

If you’re dealing with someone who doesn't care, fire them.

You deserve a cooperative relationship so don’t settle for less.

Have you had a positive customer service experience? Comment below. It doesn't have to be an aviation experience.