Stop forcing your customers to pay twice

I watched a movie a couple of days ago with my wife. I’m not going to admit what movie it was, other than to say it was a chick flick…. ok a teen chick flick.

Anyway, my wife actually bought this movie so she can watch it over and over again whenever she feels the need (oh please no more).

But heres the problem

We load up the dvd, watch the dolby intro and the ‘pirates are costing you money’ announcement (don’t get me started), and 10 minutes of ads…

What the hell?

Five movie previews that we can’t fast forward!

Did I mention we paid for this dvd? not rented Bought! But now here we are spending our recreational time being forced to watch ads for the studios latest movies or special behind the scenes whatever…

I know someone worked out that we are now a captive audience and they should let us know of other titles we can buy off them… That is plain stupid. We paid for the movie, now we have to watch SPAM.

Heres what they should have done

Don’t force me to watch these Previews Ads. Stick them as a menu option, right beside the deleted scenes. Call them something like ‘similar movies’ or ‘suggested films’ (or probably something much better).

Now they’re not spam anymore, they are added value. Why? because we have the choice to watch them. The crazy thing is we would probably watch them happily.

What examples do you have of post sale silliness?

Hair today, record for tomorrow

Somewhere between my last post, and getting my photo taken, I got thinking about Hair salons.

The trouble I have always had with getting my hair cut, is explaining what I want to the hair dresser.  I can never express how I want it, or even how I have had it before. A few times I have resorted to cutting a picture from a magazine and handing it over – “I want my hair to look like this, as long as it won’t make me look stupid”.

So why don’t Salons take pictures of their clients?  Before and after shots every time they come in, would make it easy to discuss with the client what they liked and what they didn’t.  It would build a tangible history with their clients.  Do you think this would build loyalty from the client when the hairdresser puts that much effort into knowing what they like?

Could be very interesting looking back after a year or two.

How could this idea be used in other businesses?

I Love Apple

Unpacking my Mac from it’s box almost brought tears to my eyes… ok a slight exaggeration, but it’s so extremely cool.

I love the way Apple do things. Right down to the slick packaging, every aspect is taken care of. Even the plug that fits into the back of the screen looks carefully thought out.

And you know what? It’s so simple. And they have us eating out of their hands because in terms of design and innovation they are always a step ahead. The consistency in the design style and it’s marriage with their equally clever ad campaigns, has the brand almost perfectly tuned. And by making their products so aestheticly pleasing the buying public are completely won over.  

The customer experience seems a major priority for Apple. They want you to COVET their products above all others (lets face it, often imitations, to varying degrees). Even the process of unpacking them feels special. It’s like coming home with a new baby. You’re super careful with it, gaze at it often, marvel at it’s beauty…

In casting such a spell it’s no wonder Apple can command higher prices from it’s devotees… not to mention, the newly converted.

How does your customer feel?

The local Smith City department store here in Marlborough recently held celebrations for one year in their ‘new’ premises.  They turned it into a great event with amazing bargains to draw in the crowds, a festive atmosphere with barbeque, balloons, and media coverage with two radio stations present.  All in all they did a great job of turning an occasion into a PR event.

One of the bargains was a baby carry pack at a massive discount of close to 70%.  We have a wee man, and love the outdoors, so sent Nana off early to grab us a pack.  The marketing had worked so well that there was a substantial queue of people and baby strollers outside the shop and as soon as the doors opened, the shop was flooded with customers.  Only having 10 packs in stock, they sold out in less than 3 minutes…  As the lucky 10 people happily carried their bargain packs home, many more customers left disappointed and annoyed that they had wasted their time, effort and in some cases money (I know at least two people who took time off work).  This situation left me wondering –

“Do you really want disappointed customers?”

With such limited stock, it was guaranteed that some people would miss out.  Smith City set themselves up to disappoint.

How your customers FEEL about your business, affects your Brand.  In fact, I would go so far as to say, that how people feel about your business IS your Brand.

What’s your opinion?