How To Keep Your Customers Loving Your Brand

Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

Inside the wallets of Generation Y

This is one of the most interesting infographics I’ve seen recently.
  • The huge advocacy for Amazon is amazing.  95% of those surveyed say they “Love the Brand”.
  • But TUI – the German travel company that most of us know for operating Thomson and First Choice Holidays have the opposite relationship with Generation Y. An astonishing 99.4% say  the brand “is not for me”.
What have Amazon done to get pretty much 100% of an age group as fans? 
And what on earth has TUI done to disengage an entire generation?
To help us understand – I present my experiences of the two brands over the past few years.

amazon-banner

I’m unashamed in my love of Amazon.

Amazon , for my money , provide the best low cost customer experience in the world.

Amazon.co.uk isn’t a website – it’s a living breathing eco-system. The reason Amazon are lousy at social media is they don’t have to be good at it. It’s all contained in Amazon World.

Amazon got to know me on our first date. They discovered what I like and since then have made some really helpful recommendations.  They never let me down. When one of their suppliers has messed up they have taken full responsibility without us arguing.

They never , ever , talk about themselves. Only about me.

I have only spoken to the mythical Amazon people once. I broke my Kindle. It was my fault. But they didn’t even want to know that. All they said was – ” Mr Taylor – our priority now is to get you a new Kindle as soon as possible”. That was on a Sunday evening in a telephone call from somewhere in the US.

I had a new Kindle the following morning.

I love them and it feels like they love me too.

TUI

I love holidays. And there was a time I was in love with Thomson.  But Thomson don’t pay me much attention except when they want my money.

I used to spend a lot on them. I don’t have kids and am lucky enough to travel fairly often. I always complete their surveys on the flight back. But I’ve never once heard back from them.

I arrive home and they send me an email to say “When are you booking again?”.

Once they asked me to take part in an exercise to design a new loyalty scheme. I told them that I didn’t like their proposals but had lots of ideas I could share with them. They never got back in touch with me.

Last year I forgot to pay the balance on my holiday. By one day. It was the first time in 10 years I had ever done this.

They said they were sorry but they had resold the holiday. They had a new policy on late payments as a lot of customers were letting them down. I pointed out that I was a loyal customer with two other holidays booked with them at that time.

They said the policy applied to everyone regardless of loyalty.

They said I should speak to complaints and see if I could get my money back.

I’ve never had a bad holiday with them. But sometimes in a relationship you can get taken for granted.

It was time to call it a day whilst we were still friends.

What do these two experiences tell us?

Generation Y are no different from you or I . They like companies to engage with them and treat them like they are special. They hate companies talking about themselves – they thrive on being part of an experience. A relationship that matters.

But this post isn’t really about Amazon or TUI.

  • It’s about the Charity who takes £5 out of a donors bank account every month and keeps asking them to pay a bit more.
  • It’s about the Housing Association tenant who has been resident for 20 years without a thank you for paying their rent each and every month.
  • It’s about mobile phone providers who don’t proactively offer you reductions in your contract before your renewal date.

It’s about organisations not listening to what people are saying about them when they are not in the room.

So listen to Jeff Bezos.

Be in the room.

  1. Love it, spot on as usual

    Reply

    1. Thanks Sue for the comment!

      Reply

  2. Great stuff. That infographic is very interesting. Going to a travel agency of any description wouldn’t even cross my mind when I book a holiday. I always book flights and accommodation separately now as do friends my age. I think the entire travel agency package holiday market needs a overhaul if it is to survive into the future.

    Amazon is amazing because its consistent. I know when I go on Amazon its going to be either the cheapest or nearly the cheapest. I know its deliveries are reliable and I know that if I ever did have a problem the returns policy is ace too. It’s that level of consistent low pricing and high quality service that keeps people coming back.

    Reply

    1. Thanks Thom – I think Amazon have made an art form out of consistency and convenience. The impressive thing is how they don’t stop innovating. They are currently rolling out same day delivery , for a charge , but with a view that it becomes a normal part of their service. Impressive.

      Reply

  3. Ooh, I love this Paul; great job. It makes me feel a bit guilty though because I’ve done loads of posts on the corporate Twitter account today @GuinnessSouth and mainly just talked about us and our staff conference yesterday. I shall redress that balance immediately!

    Reply

  4. I’m glad their service is great, clearly from what you say it is brilliant. So it is no wonder they are popular – good service, cheap prices. I wouldn’t know because I won’t shop from them because they don’t pay their taxes! There are reasons they are the most consistently low priced. They also seek out and invite small online independent businesses to use them to increase their sales, discover their best products, start selling them themselves for less and put the initial small company out of business. I do not share your love for them!
    I do share your opinion on what really counts though. One of our tenancy officers decided to write to a block who take a real pride in their building and have an annual flower pots and window boxes competition. She said that for once she thought it would be nice to send a letter thanking residents rather than writing about “issues ” and it really was so appreciated. They were bowled over.

    Reply

    1. Thanks Annie – I knew I could rely on you to mention tax! I’m not defending Amazon and their record on social responsibility ( or their employment practices – you might like this long but incredibly interesting article http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/ed6a985c-70bd-11e2-85d0-00144feab49a.html#slide0 )

      But I disagree that the low pricing is what makes the customer experience different. There are plenty of low cost providers who mess up when it comes to managing customer relationships. Let’s face it – Housing Associations are low cost providers but that doesn’t make them inherently good businesses. I don’t think there is a tenant in the country who wouldn’t swap their repairs service to Amazon if they did one!

      You last point is spot on. Thanks as always.

      Reply

  5. Hey – we have all done that and we all do it on occasion. It’s being able to spot it and do something about it that is more important. Thanks for comment

    Reply

  6. Great read Paul…and perfect timing for me as I’m setting up our company to sell via amazon next week

    Reply

    1. Thanks Gina and good luck with the Amazon account. Make sure you get user reviews ( I know I’m teaching you to suck eggs here). There’s a good article on Social Proof and sales here – Amazon are masters at it http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/27/social-proof-why-people-like-to-follow-the-crowd/

      Reply

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