Are We Doing a Good Job?

pile of question marks on scraps of paper


If we hear how awesome we are over and over again, then we’ll believe we’re pretty awesome! And of course, we are pretty awesome, but maybe we should receive this high praise with a grain of salt. Consider how many times a day we hear that our student’s skydives were better than sex or the ‘BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE…..LIKE EVER!!!’ We hear this so often that we believe we’re truly extraordinary.

Consider this … we may not be as good as we think we are. Here’s why: We receive feedback from our guests after their skydives as they are on the BIGGEST ADRENALINE RUSH OF THEIR LIVES!!!!! Who’s going to say they had a bad time?

In order to know how we are performing, we need to seek feedback 24 hours after the jump to allow this serotonin-soaked adventure to slowly eek out of our student’s bodies. Many dropzones ask students to fill out a customer feedback form immediately after a jump. My advice: STOP DOING THAT. Though you will receive some constructive criticism, your results will be skewed. To get true feedback, a little anonymity and a clear mind will give you the feedback you need…pure unadulterated honesty.

Why Collect Feedback?

As a DZ operator, we must be in tune with the experience of our guests.

1. We shouldn’t allow the skydive to be our only concern. There are multiple interactions our guests experience long before suiting up on a 20 minute call. We must ensure that every interaction is not just good…but on par with what we would expect a $300+ experience to look like. We are offering the greatest adventure life has to offer. Professionalism and positivity should surround every part of this experience!

2. We cannot be everywhere at once. You know how it is…take a busy Saturday and you develop ADD because you’re being pulled in so many directions. How can we possibly know what kind of experience our customers are having when you’re being pulled by anyone who can bend your ear.

Your finger must feel the pulse from the heart of your operation: your customer’s experience. Want to know who on your staff is giving poor service? Your customers will tell you. Want to know how the greeting was by admin staff when your guests check-in…your customers will happily tell you.You just need to ask at the right time and seek out the right questions.

Photo by Chad Wilcox

Photo by Chad Wilcox

What Are We Asking, Exactly?

When building a feedback form, we need to identify each point of contact the customer has with the operation. A typical list for most DZ’s will look something like this:

1. Website – professional site or did one of your fun jumpers barter for jumps to design this informational site that lacks all design?

2. Ease of making a reservation (phone or online) – if you are not taking reservations online, make this a priority. Don’t make your customers work around your schedule to give you money.

3. Ease of directions. Good signage or no signage?

4. Ease of parking – is your parking nondescript? Clearly defined?

5. Welcome – How was the greeting when your guests check-in?

6. Training - How long does it take to get into training and while there…how was the training? Sufficient, well-explained or not anything that instills confidence?

7. Jumpsuits – if jumpsuits are offered, how clean are they? Do they have rips in them and grass stains in the butt?

8. Restrooms – How clean or dirty are your restrooms? You can count on 99.9% of your jumping clientele to use a DZ bathroom based on the length of time spent at the DZ and those pre-jump nerves. If you want to know how a company truly feels about their customers…just look at their bathrooms! Want to know where your students are on the 20 minute call? Yup…they’re in the bathroom.

9. Instructor – What’s the presentation of the instructor look like? Does he look like he just rolled out of bed, have smoker’s breath and an attitude or is he excited about giving someone the most memorable day of their lives?

10. Wait Times – How long from check-in to boarding the aircraft? Wait times are what holds our sport back from any kind of growth. What’s our hard deck for wait times…two hours from check in to boarding? Three hours?

11. The Skydive – How was it? Did your goggles fly off (this can single-handedly ruin all enjoyment for the skydive), or was it the best thing ever?!

11. Video Wait Time – How long does it take to get the video?

12. Video – How pleased or displeased are guests with the quality of the product and the footage captured?

13. Videographer – How was the videographer? A professional or a total vidiot?

Photo by Chad Wilcox

Photo by Chad Wilcox


We can either own the feedback or be defensive and ignore it. Remember, none of us are perfect. Take a hard look at any criticism and see about making a change. Small details truly add up and effect the overall experience. None of these items should be overlooked.

The whole idea for seeking feedback is to improve. No detail is too small especially when you consider that your guests are equipped with a magical device that can tell the world about their experience.


Ultimately, the goal is to be objective and remove yourself from the fishbowl that is your DZ and start enjoying it from the outside looking in, instead of swimming inside and losing site of the big picture. Your customers are your biggest marketing team. Equip them to market for you by giving them the greatest experience of their lives from the moment they see your website until they pull away from your parking lot with memories that say…”Now that is how you run a business!”

In Summary

1. Get Feedback
2. Send feedback forms 24 hours after the jump, electronically.
3. Review Feedback
4. Make Adjustments
5. Be More Awesome!


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About James La Barrie

James La Barrie is passionate about marketing and changing a company's service culture. Originally from the Caribbean island of Antigua, James melds his approach of marketing and delivering elite service together as one. James has injected his 'service marketing' approach throughout his career to transform companies from good to great.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Receive Our Newsletter!

If you would like to receive our industry newsletter offering free insights on industry marketing techniques to help you make more money, fill the form below! We publish a newsletter designed for skydive industry professionals. We are vehemently against spam and refuse to do it (even if offered lots of money).

What we're trying to say is we value our audience and only wish to send you quality content and have no intention of clogging you inbox with a bunch of rubbish. If you hate what we send, opting out is very easy!