Learn from Airports!

Don’t Run Your Business Like an Airport

Seth Godin has written an interesting blog post about what we can all learn from airports and how they are managed.  Airports are a terrific counterexample for how to run a successful business.  If they weren’t the only way to get to an airplane, who would use airports the way they are run?

Their View of the Customer

Airports view the customer as a powerless transient.  Customers are here now, but they’ll be gone soon.  Why worry about them?  So their customers are subject to all sorts of potential bad surprises, like late or even canceled flights, crazy fees just to check a couple of bags and no end of hassle connected with security.

Industrialization of the System

In a relentless quest to squeeze every dime out of costs, the whole process has no slack anywhere, so there is no room for any accommodation, any spontaneity or any joy.  There are no spare airplanes any more, so if your plane has a problem you wait for it to be fixed.  For however long that takes.  The people who help you are so pressed for productivity that they are about as cheerful as people working at a cemetery.  And for good reason.

The Bottom Line

Honor your customers; they are the life of your business.  Take care of them and they will bring you more customers.  Treat them as airports do and your business will not enjoy the success it could have.

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