Jeff Tobe, author and speaker, joined 30 Minute Business Dig to inspire businesses to think more creatively when interacting with their customers. In today’s economy, we can no longer continue to do what we’ve always done and expect different results. We need to be innovative and step out of our comfort zones to gain the competitive edge.
Jeff shares stories to illustrate his point throughout the interview. It’s entertaining and informative at the same time! After you listen, please comment with how you are creating unforgettable customer experiences!
On April 5, I received an e-mail from US Airways as one of their frequent flyers. They said I had 1000 frequent flyer miles waiting for me in my account -because they know I love to travel and they love seeing me happy – yes, it says that right in the e-mail. A typo in the subject line did catch my attention, but other than that, I figured this was a nice PR effort.
Fast forward four days, and on April 9, I received a second email from US Airways – with Oops! in the subject line. They explained they inadvertently sent me the previous email and were now taking back the 1000 miles they had originally promised because “they love seeing me happy.” In Seth Godin’s terms, this is broken.
To give you some context, a few years ago, Seth Godin gave a speech called “This is Broken” that was featured on Ted TV. (you can view the entire video below). Seth gives a tour of things poorly designed, the seven reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them. The seven reasons are 1) not my job, 2) selfish jerks, 3) the world changed, 4) I didn’t know, 5) I’m not a fish, 6) contradictions, and 7) broken on purpose.
In the case of US Airways, not only is this a PR nightmare, but someone had to have done this! The first sign of trouble was in the typo in the subject line of the first e-mail. When you are sending an e-mail to thousands of your frequent flyer customers, attention to detail is critical. Sending a second e-mail with “Oops” in the subject line- and taking back what you promised is just wrong. Does US Airways realize that something is broken here? Do they care? I say not since they mishandled the opportunity to get a positive reaction instead of a negative one.
Now, the manager or director who took the heat from this faux pas may have immediately chastised some poor intern that they burdened with this responsibility of communicating with some of their best customers. But that is not the answer. The best strategy for any business is to retain their loyal customers. It costs five times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer.
As a business owner, you can take the proactive approach to create a culture and processes that keep these things from happening, or you can react by taking the steps to make the culture and processes better. Either way, it’s a win for your business, brand and customer. All factors that impact negatively on the customer must be identified and corrected if you wish to compete most effectively and profitably. You must develop appropriate customer-oriented strategies, design and implement customer friendly policies/processes, develop your employees to create and sustain customer relationships, and constantly monitor and continuously improve your progress for the issues that are most important for your customer. For more information about creating a customer loyalty program, click here.
Deborah Frey, co-host of our Blog Talk Radio Show – 30 Minute Business Dig, shares her knowledge and expertise during this interview about “Purposeful Networking.” In the era of relationship marketing, we cannot passively connect in face-to-face networking opportunities. Presence has power and engagement is the fuel. Individual approaches to networking vary, but the successful among us strategically plan to optimize the value for sales and customer loyalty.
Do you have anything to add to this? Please comment.
Lessons Learned from United Airlines on What Not to Do
You may remember this past summer a story about David Carroll and United Airlines. David had flown on United and when he went to retrieve his guitar from baggage claim, it was broken. United refused to pay for the $1200 repair. David was not satisfied with the way United Airlines handled his complaint, so he took it to the Internet and placed this video on You Tube.
Well, it gets better. Just last week, David had no choice but to fly on United Airlines again – and guess what – they lost his bag! United’s response was that they will fully investigate what regretfully happened. The story was covered in The New York Times and many other news outlets. You can read the entire article here.