Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Southwest sets the bar – we'd suggest going higher
Airlines is known for high customer approval ratings and for its innovative approach to interacting with customers.
In keeping with that philosophy Southwest takes a pro-active approach when one of their flights encounters a problem
such as a major delay or cancellation. It's reported that they review all the flights from the previous
day and contact the passengers who were on that flight by “sending out a bunch of emails and making a few phone calls”
probably apologizing and thanking the customers for their patience.
8:35 pm edt
We don't work for Soutwest and I can’t be sure who
gets called and who gets an email message, but it is a smart approach and likely one that’s uncommon in their industry.
But for those of us
at CEP who apply the strategy of Identifying & Arming the best potential advocates, we would actually refine
that process even further. First, we would have identified the best potential customer advocates each day
before they flew (as well as those in the top tier of their frequent flyer program travelling that day) and been certain they
each got a special welcome aboard from the pilot or senior flight attendant. Second, we would have a team
tracking flights that are delayed more than a few hours and those that are cancelled in real time. We
would then compare the passenger lists for those flights with our best potential advocates and top tier frequent flyers (likely
fewer than 10% of the passengers on any given flight), and we would contact them by text message or phone call while they
are still sitting on the ground (or as they flip on the phones when they land).We would immediately apologize and where appropriate
try to assist them, before those everyday advocates have much time to start their tweeting, blogging and Facebook posting
about their negative experience.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Why All That Negative Word of Mouth?
never been inside a Wegmans supermarket in my life. But if there were one opening in my town then I would
have to at the least give it a try. Why? A couple of reasons: 1)
I heard Alec Baldwin on David Letterman’s show telling a story of how impossible it would be to get
his mother to move from her upstate New York home because it would mean leaving Wegmans (and he wasn’t acting as a paid
spokesperson). 2) A friend who pays as much attention to managing the customer experience as I do told
me that it’s THE best. 3) I’m among the 23,000 YouTube visitors who have taken the time to watch the Algonquin Regional High School production Wegmans… The Musical! -- see it at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvGuI67GcjQ>
11:38 am edt
other words I am admitting what research study after study has already documented for us: word of mouth is a powerful force
in producing brand awareness, consideration, and purchase intention.
It’s not that getting such positive word of mouth just happens on its own.
But we believe that the difference between those who say and write negative things about your brand, and those who
communicate positive messages goes beyond the quality of the experience alone, but probably is also more basic than many marketers
think. We believe that those who communicate negative messages typically have the Motivation, the Content,
and they find the Opportunities. And those who simply have a satisfying experience may lack all
three of those ingredients.
But once a marketer accepts that reality, it is possible to turn things around.