Air Elite Blog

Empathy-driven customer service has been at the forefront for Silverhawk Aviation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the below from their client services manager, Nettie Mayer, as she discusses how true hospitality can’t be automated.

Maintaining the Power of Connection During a Crisis

Nettie Mayer
Client Services Manager
Silverhawk Aviation – KLNK

Penning a few words about what is going on at one’s FBO in the height of the summer is an easy enough task. However, make that the summer of 2020, with the COVID-19 Pandemic, and it becomes more of a challenge because – well, frankly, there doesn’t appear to be anything going on. Concerts, sporting events, and festivals have all been canceled or postponed in Lincoln, Nebraska and our neighboring communities, so there is not much to share from this perspective.

We certainly are not alone in our situation. As we continue the road to recovery, there are some positive trends and shifts to share:

  • Traffic is returning
  • Charter interest is growing
  • It is starting to feel a bit like business as usual, even though the business isn’t what we’re used to

I’m a fan of a firm handshake and a hug, when appropriate. So, I personally have struggled with social distancing and the new way to meet and greet our wonderful customers and friends that arrive at Silverhawk Aviation. As I was thinking about what I might want to share with flight departments, I realized that, despite our mitigating and managing our guests’ health and safety, the simplicity of genuine hospitality is still alive and well. Maintaining customer engagement is always of utmost importance, and right now is no exception.One of the great things about private aviation and our FBO operation is that every day is different. Everyone that passes through our doors has a story. Everyone has felt the impact of the pandemic. Aside from the actual health risks, economic and emotional stress and anxiety have definitely altered our mindset.

You Can’t Automate True Hospitality

Remote communication, online ordering, and self-checkouts have restructured our behavior. While these opportunities have proven to be worthwhile, you can’t automate true hospitality. The power of connection is needed now more than ever!

People, by nature, want and need to have interactions with each other. That said, it is important to be attentive to your customers’ boundaries and respect the level of concern they may be feeling in their life because of the virus. Empathy driven compassion and kindness are just as important as handwashing. At the end of the day, six feet apart or behind a mask, it all comes down to putting people first and just taking care of one another.

And speaking of people taking care of people, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this time to express my appreciation for my colleagues that are part of the Air Elite Network. From the beginning of the outbreak, lockdowns, and continuing through the evolving uncertainty of our industry rebounding, fellow Air Elite members have remained connected through routine conference calls and messaging forums, offering insight and support for one another.

As a global network of seventy-plus FBOs, we pride ourselves on the Air Elite Difference, defined by consistently going above and beyond in service. Flight operators can trust that they will receive the comfort of consistency across the network while enjoying the variety that makes each member FBO unique.

Half-way to Wherever You’re Going

So what makes Silverhawk Aviation unique? Why are we the ideal stop for you?

The short answer is great people with the Midwestern work ethic. The logistical answer, we’re located in the middle of the continental U.S., half-way to wherever you’re going.

When you factor in our remodeled modern facility, new hangar, a 12,901 ft runway and 120,000+ SF of ramp space, that makes us a convenient, less congested option for cross country fuel stops. Our fuel prices are always competitive, and we support a variety of fuel savings programs. And as much as we would love to have you stay, we know you want to get back on the road, so our guaranteed quick turn of 17 minutes or less will keep you on schedule.

As our summer fades into fall, Harvest is beginning in the nearby fields and we’re thrilled to share our Autumn season. It’s a beautiful time of year to fly and we hope to see you soon.


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