Last week I received an email from a travel agency offering a ‘Super Sale’. We had booked holiday packages with them before, so we were keen to find out more, hoping to book a winter escape for later this year.
I replied via email, enquiring about a couple of destinations, asking politely for a quote.
This should have been a quick and easy task for the travel agency, which apparently had already put considerable effort into preparing an e-mail campaign and special offers for their existing clients.
Six emails and two hours later (I kid you not!) I established that:
- The advertised ‘Sale’ packages had to be booked in person, at the travel agent’s office, on the same day I enquired.
- The branch manager refused to send a quote via email. Said branch manager emailed me instead: “You have to come in and book and pay by 8pm today – no pressure!” then signed with a smiley face.
- Said ‘Super Sale’ turned out to be no cheaper than other holiday packages we had been offered by other operators.
Why is this relevant to the FMCG industry, I hear you ask? It’s really all about efficient systems and good customer service.
First of all, if you are dealing with a loyal client who has done business with you before and is responding to one of your recent offers, wouldn’t you at least try to be helpful? Why would you invest time and resources in an edm offer that can’t actually be booked via email or phone?
Should you pressure the client into coming to see you in person at your office on the same day, or else there would be “no deal”? Of course not. This is a good example of how someone in your company, or their half-baked marketing idea, can potentially damage your brand’s reputation.
Pressuring a customer, offering obscure ‘sales’ that come with strings attached and being generally unhelpful will only lead to serious damage to your business. Social media and word of mouth are fast and ruthless these days.
Can you afford to lose your regular customers and future business opportunities? So, if someone on your team is wasting your customers’ time, please intervene.
Meanwhile, I’m off to unsubscribe from that ‘Super Sale’ mailing list and to book our winter holiday elsewhere.