Due to a wide array of reasons, our launch for Lakeshore Express was subject to significant delays. While the initial delays of a week or two were okay in the eyes of customers, as the weeks dragged on, it was clear that we needed to do something to enter the market, even though our aircraft and crews were not able to operate. In order to create goodwill and serve a small portion of customers, we supplemented service by using smaller private jets instead of our own fleet of aircraft. As you might expect, this effort very favorably received by our customers. They received a ride in a luxury jet at a fraction of the actual cost.
The problem, however, is with the precedent that we set. By trying to be “on-time” in entering the market, meaning entering the market close to the date we set as our launch, we resorted to an alternative that was both costly as well as unsustainable. While we were able to get operations going following this initial period where we were forced to use private jets, the problem was that if we ever ran into a problem again (where we couldn’t fly), our customers would ask us why we didn’t just get a private jet to fly them home. Unfortunately, word traveled fast when we used the back-up airlift (private jets) and customers were extremely happy with our decisions. Of course, if we continued this precedent whenever we had a issue where we couldn’t fly, that wouldn’t be cost effective and would quickly put any venture out of business.
The question is whether by trying to enter the market in a timely fashion, we resorted to an alternative that set such an unsustainable precedent that we never could have lived up to. In trying to please the customer, did we go so far as to?