Clarity and Perspective about Online Marketing since 2001
Scores of plane rides and dozens of nights in hotel rooms every year can sharpen one’s view of the customer experience. Frankly, there are patterns of annoyance in weekly travel that are stunningly consistent. And, yes, I’ve been thinking of how to legitimately whine about them in this space while also crafting a relevant message for Drift readers. So I’ve decided to call out three of these FTAs (frequent traveler annoyances) while also looking at the deeper insight they illustrate for sales organizations.
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The Blinking Light on the Phone: You check into a hotel at the end of a very long day, while e-mail and prep for the next day still stand between you and sleep. But the message light on the phone blinks insistently. After several minutes of setting up and accessing your voice mail box you finally retrieve the message: “This is the front desk just making sure everything is OK with your room.” Really? Turns out everything was great except for that blinking light! Message for Sellers: Question the things you do automatically, by rote. That mass email update or the check in call in particular. It could making your customer feel less special, not more.
The On Board Announcements: Who knew the airlines would turn into media companies? From the second you walk on the plane there’s one announcement after another: welcome aboard, names of your crew members, thanks to our frequent fliers, you can sign up to earn triple points, the safety announcements, here’s what’s on the beverage cart, this is the route we’ll be flying and how high up the plane will get… For the love of God, please just shut up for a few minutes! Message for Sellers: Don’t assume that simply because you’re communicating that you’re actually serving the customer. Turn down the volume and the flow of “information” and you just might create an experience that your customer will enjoy, not just tolerate.
The False Pricetag: If you told me the true price of flying with you or staying in your hotel, there’s a good chance I’d pay it. I’d probably even pay a fee to be in your frequent flier program if I knew it was going to be a good experience. But you don’t price things that way, do you? Instead we start with an artificially low picture of cost, and then you systematically pick my pocket with one extra transactional charge after another. $25 to check a bag… $150 to change a reservation … $15 a day for internet access in the room…and handling fees to use the frequent flier miles I’ve earned. Message for Sellers: While we may not necessarily be up-charging our customers with transaction fees, we are far too often taxing them where it hurts even more: by inconveniencing them and eating up their time. Figure out what it will cost to give your customer a superior, premium experience and then charge a premium price for it. You’ll be surprised what a difference this will make in driving true financial loyalty with your customers.