Spirit Airlines: We Know You Hate It, But We Don’t Care

Spirit Airlines is an American airline company that is known for having low-cost flights. The company is more concerned about the prices they give out rather than the complaints they are receiving. Spirit has been acquring their fair share of criticism from customers and the media. A survey was made of some 16,000 customer ratings and Spirit Airlines was among the bottom of the list for flying in America. “That report did not ask the one big question of who offers the best prices. And hands down, the No. 1 thing we’re told by our customers is that the price matters,” says Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson. Let’s be honest, would you complain about a flight that is two and a half hours long and only cost 75 bucks?

Spirit AirlinesThe company strives to make the price for flights as low as possible. They have an average base price of only 79 dollars. One thing that customers hate about Spirit Airlines is the fact that they charge fees before and during the flights to passengers. These fees can add up to be 40 to 50 dollars for the majority of customers. Spirit Airlines does not even offer a free cup of water or have a video system while the passengers are in flight. There is not much leg room either so you are cramped, regardless of how short you are.

The airline company believes that is what the Spirit customers want when it comes to this airline business. Spirit believes they have travelers who would most likely be getting a bus seat if their airline service was not available. The Chief Executive Officer Ben Baldanza says, “Well, what we say is that we care about what our customers care about, which is price, and one of the things that Consumer Reports survey didn’t ask is where do you get the lowest fare? And so they asked about leg room, and they asked about check-in, and they asked about bag fees, and things like that. But the total price that customers pay on Spirit Airlines is less than they pay on anyone else, and that’s why they love us.”

Spirit Airline company should not be upset by all the criticism coming their way. Spirit is a very solid business as their sales rose 23 percent in just the past quarter. The planes are fuller than the rest of the other airline companies. The company has a rate of 85.1 percent in the first quarter  of 2013 when it comes to flights being full. That makes the company really profitable as they move forward.

The airline company still gets a lot of negative feedback from the press even when they are succeeding. So, is it fair that Spirit Airlines is getting this terrible assessment from the media when they are making profits and almost all of their flights are full? Does the base price really trump all the niceties that other airlines offer?Or should management try to improve their baggage fees and legroom in the flights in order to please the customers more?





Infer: Better Math Can Produce More Sales

Infer is a company that develops technology that allows company’s sales-tracking system to rank customer leads based on how likely they are going to purchase something. The company has raised 10 million over the last two years while working on this technology. Infer is rather simple as its software starts with basic information. For example, if a customer decides to enter their name, address and company when signing up for a product. The Infer system will then start doing research behind the person that signed up for the product.

The CEO, Vik Singh is young as he is only 28 years old, but he believes that his mathematical formulas will increase sales. Vik Singh and his 10-employee team are in the midst of improving sales by using better math.

Vik doesn’t seem to be short on confidence as he feels that this new  innovation is sure to help increase sales. The problem is the fact that he is  very young and there may not be that many people that believe in his new ideas. He may not be the best person to trust for sales, but he certainly has the right engineering track record. He worked with Google fine tuning search systems before moving to Microsoft. At Microsoft, he developed technology with Jim Gray, who of the greatest computer scientists of the last half century. He finished working with Microsoft and built a new Yahoo search system.

Vik Singh has worked with some of the biggest technology gurus in the world. Vik Singh says, ” The way the typical company manages data is piss-poor in comparison and there is more science at Facebook (FB) behind seeing which of your friends are getting drunk across the street from you.” This seems to be a common theme with all the new web-savvy engineers that are trying to make new rules for business applications. Vik Singh wants to treat sales deals like a puzzle. If Infer can makes their sales deal like a puzzle then it can be solved with an algorithm rather than a dinner between people who have ideas.

Infer has worked with Box and other customers to verify their research. It works with historic sales and compares outcomes with their own predictions. Singh continues to tell everyone that the experiments come out nearly perfect, but he has not released any proof of this for businesses to see. In my opinion, there are a lot of other things that factor in when dealing with sales. There needs to be more facts when trying to rely on just math to increase sales. From a management point of view, I don’t know if Vik is taking things a little too far with all these math equations, but he does have the technology background to speak for him. Then again who has time for someone that is only 28 years old and is trying to change the way selling works?