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Never Hesitate To Apologize To An Unsatisfied Customer – Kanika Tekriwal, Founder, JetSetGo

Kanika Tekriwal founded JetSetGo in 2014. Today, JetSetGo operates India’s largest private jet and helicopter fleet and currently holds over 20% of the total market as the single largest market shareholder. Under her leadership, JetSetGo enjoys a client satisfaction rate of 98.2% and has been awarded the prestigious National Entrepreneurship Award by the Government of India. In addition to this, Kanika Tekriwal has been placed on numerous coveted lists such as Forbes’ 30 Under 30, CNN’s 20 Under 40, BBC’s 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World, and is a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum. While her biggest victory might be that JetSetGo has shown a seven-fold growth and holds an excellent EBIDTA, she revels much more in the smaller victories, such as receiving excellent customer feedback or repairing a plane in record time.

Kanika’s mantra for success is super inspiring. Here it is: “I have always believed in the power of the mind – If you believe it, you can do it. The events one face in their lifetime are nothing but a reciprocation of a combination of their thoughts and actions. If you think, you believe and are determined to do something; your actions automatically work towards achieving it.”

About JetSetGo
JetSetGo was founded in 2014 by Kanika Tekriwal to address issues faced by Private jet users as well as owners. In a few years since its inception, JetSetGo has changed the world of private aviation and continues to do so by reinventing industry practices. At the time of inception, the company saw one flight take off per month and it now averages one plane in the sly every minute of the day. This is largely due to the fact that JetSetGo operates India’s largest private jet and helicopter fleet and currently holds over 20% of the total market as the single largest market shareholder – an indication of just how unforgettable the JSG private flying experience is.

Before its inception, owning and managing a private jet was an expensive and inefficient burden. Owing to the lack of usage, tedious maintenance upkeep, and when considering ad-hoc charters, the lack of trust and transparency within the customer-operator relationship, private jet owners and flyers alike often felt cheated.

Though this complex and disorganized structure dissuaded Indian private jet users from aggressively entering the market, JetSetGo rose to the challenge and became the critical link between aircraft owners and those looking to fly private. It has been able to make private jets cheaper and more efficient profit centers rather than cost centers through a complete takeover of one’s jet. By administering important processes such as front-end procedures, maintenance, ground operations, in-flight management, procurement, spare parts and tools handling and sharing programs, aircraft management, dispatch, and safety, it gives a plane all the care it needs to offer the most luxurious flying experience for passengers.

Unlike the average private jet owner, JetSetGo hosts a global network of suppliers and a trained in-house ground operations unit for its fleet of aircrafts. This helps them achieve economies of scale, thereby increasing the efficiency of each plane and reducing overall costs – an unmatched competitive advantage. As the team is available 24/7, 365 days a year, JetSetGo is able to ensure a private jet is booked within 3 minutes of receiving a request from an owner. As soon as a booking is registered, the jet of choice undergoes a swift system of 29 safety checks – far more than the regular carrier.

It was a pleasure to interview Kanika and get her insightful responses to the following questions.

What role has Customer Experience (CX) played in the journey of JetSetGo?

Since the inception of JetSetGo, it’s always been about the customer. A few years back, the question often asked was: Why is hiring a private jet rocket science? The people asking this question were customers, willing to pay for a private flight, except they did not know whom to pay. They were business owners who had to cover three to four cities in a day, inbound and domestic tourists, those who opted for private flights not out of choice but because their situation demanded an emergency evacuation and the tourists on pilgrimages to remote areas.

Their need partly arose from a very crucial fact about Indian aviation: India has 200 airports and airstrips that are fully functional, but only 80 of them are connected by commercial airlines. Unfortunately, then, a majority of private aircrafts in India did not serve their full potential because of the lack of a structured system that allows owners to be part of the private aviation business.

JetSetGo is a solution to all these inadequacies and roadblocks. Before JetSetGo’s inception, owning and managing a private jet was an expensive and inefficient burden. Owing to the lack of usage, tedious maintenance upkeep, and when considering ad-hoc charters, the lack of trust and transparency within the customer-aggregator relationship, private jet owners and flyers alike often felt cheated. This complex and disorganized structure dissuaded other Indian private charter aggregators from aggressively entering the market, but we like to think that we took the challenge head-on to become the critical link between aircraft owners and those looking to fly private.

We’ve brought to life the three paradigms upon which JetSetGo was founded: consistent service, quality, and transparency, and now we find that our competitors are following suit. In three short years, we managed to wipe out the asymmetrical access to information with digital and logistical innovations to bring about a level playing field. Then we overtook everyone else; the competition is rough but that’s how it always is. Now we’re the single largest market shareholder in India’s private aviation industry with a client satisfaction rate of 92%. We’re happy that our clients no longer feel like they’re being misled – it’s a testament to the quality and consistency of our services.

Besides, JetSetGo looks towards further improving its customer experience by analyzing its clients’ history and by collecting information about their tastes and preferences to make sure that their flight is tailored to their needs and requirements. Since the team at Jet Set Go believes that a customer’s journey begins before the client even steps foot on board, it maintains a transparency in prices that builds a better relationship between client and supplier.

In your journey so far, which is the one CX initiative you had pioneered that you are proud of the most? Please tell us what the problem was that you were trying to address and how you went about solving it.

Let me touch upon a few CX initiatives that promptly come to mind:

  • Ad Hoc Charters: JetSetGo makes it possible for anyone to book a private jet either online, on their mobile app, or through a simple phone call.
  • The JetSetGo App: JetSetGo was the first Indian company to introduce an easy-to-use smartphone app that allows ad hoc customers and owners to book a private jet with transparency and ease.
  • JetSteals: The JetSteals program enables JetSetGo to market and book “empty legs”, wherein potential clients seeking a bargain can fly from and to certain pre-decided airports at a fraction of the cost by booking the number of seats they require.
  • Exclusive Membership: JetSetGo allows clients to be part of an exclusive private flyers club, which takes hospitality to another level. Membership to this club is an outcome of flying a certain number of hours every year and perks include free upgrades, Meet and Greet assistance at the airport, luxurious hotel stays, chauffeured transfers, and 24/7 concierge services.
  • End-to-End Personalisation: As the only company to offer complete customisation and even child-friendly planes, JetSetGo has found a loyal family of customers.
  • Lastly, the JetSetGo team is available 24/7, 365 days a year, to ensure that a flight is booked within 3 minutes. Thereafter, the jet of choice undergoes a swift system of 29 safety checks – far more than the regular carrier.

Generally, teams are always caught up in initiatives that are already planned. In this endeavor to meet the existing KRAs, initiatives that could actually create a positive CX get missed out. How would you handle such a situation and align the team towards the CX goal?

In business, there is the trap of aligning oneself to the herd mentality. So as far as CX goes, and meeting KRAs too, I encourage my team to take new paths, instead of trying to walk the already trodden path to success. And the best way to know that you’re doing something different is when your customers seem excited about taking another trip with you.

What is your vision around CX at JetSetGo? How do you see it evolving in the next couple of years?

Currently, our strategy involves a combination of development plans, including finding new, unexplored target audiences within India and catering to global markets. We also look forward to diversifying our range of services and continuing to innovate our technology and internal processes, thus making the dream of a JetSetGo flight a reality for any individual. Ultimately, I strongly believe that a market is not simply taken over; it is created, nurtured, and made to thrive. As we design and cultivate our market, we look forward to solving new challenges in 2018 and that’s what truly keeps me going.

What is your word of advice for businesses embarking this journey of customer-centricity?

Never hesitate to apologize to an unsatisfied customer, and be transparent with your team, customers, and suppliers.

Follow Kanika Tekriwal on Twitter

Image courtesy: Bram Vanhaeren – HypeBea


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