The customer leads the marketing journey, not the marketer.
Let’s take an example.
You rent a car to go see your friends 100 miles away and when you get to the rental place there is no car.
You call the company and they apologise and tell you that you should go to another rental place a block away.
You dutifully do as you’re told.
There is no car there either.
After another 30 minutes of back and forth with a call centre you give up.
You tell your friends you’ll be late as you’re going to have to get the bus.
You’re irritated as hell but you make the best of it.
You end up being 3 hours late.
Next day you get an email from the rental company hoping you were delighted with the experience and would you be interested in their loyalty membership program?
No apology. No refund offer plus free gift just an email that pisses you off.
Because of the pre-programmed “personalised” marketing sent to a first time customer post purchase the rental company has lost a customer for life.
Not only that, every one of your friends hears about this and you’ve probably lost them for life too.
That’s marketing at you after a bad experience and it does nothing to repair the previous damage.
So what can you do instead?
Offer the right product or service at the right time and the right place.
The service the rental customer needed was Plan B when something goes wrong.
a massive apology and refund.
An offer of a free ride home delivered to your location
Going beyond if possible (IE offering a driver to take you home).
Option one is the least the rental company can do.
Option 2 & 3 are putting the customer in charge of doing your marketing for you.
Firstly Offering the right service would require that the call center was connected to the email service so that plan B was in place for pissed off customers.
But then secondly not only are you keeping a customer, you’re gaining others (because your customers friends get a whole new story told to them). It’s a cost yes but you should (as the rental company) write this off as a marketing expense.
You can literally turn one pissed off customer into 1 good one and 5-6 new prospects.
So don’t make the “personalised” marketing mistake.
Go above and beyond to delight and then market the loyalty offer.
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