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A Swing and Miss for Sales and Marketing

A Swing and Miss for Sales and Marketing

I had the opportunity to fly Delta airlines recently.  Never been on that airline before (really) as I’ve been stuck in a stupid “loyalty” program elsewhere.  Imagine my surprise when I found pleasant service-with-a-smile, and genuinely helpful staff!  I was in the unfortunate position of having to check luggage this time around.  You know what happened next:  yes, they lost my luggage.  But that’s NOT the interesting part…

Delta’s baggage-service staff were AMAZING.  I’d guess those folks have a difficult job, dealing with upset people all day long.  These folks were friendly, thorough, showed genuine concern, and very knowledgeable.  They alone could’ve made me a Delta “Promoter” BUT THAT’S not the interesting part …

Align Marketing (expectations) with service delivery, or risk the peril of creating Detractors

Align Marketing (expectations) with service delivery, or risk creating Detractors

The baggage-service staff knew why my bag was lost:  I had to change airplanes in LAX, a huge, complex airport.  Lucky for me I only had a 35-minute layover.  Unfortunately 35-minutes isn’t enough time to transfer luggage on a busy day.  The baggage-service folks frequently see this problem.

Companies spend millions (billions?) on service recovery.  Why not invest similar amounts into addressing the root-cause?  At minimum, why not warn people when they ticket that short LAX-layover might cause baggage problems (never mind the checked-baggage fee)?  Or, why not turn those spammy emails about “my upcoming trip” into a genuine cross-sell?  For example, make me aware of this potential problem, suggest some simple work-arounds, and offer me “baggage insurance” or FedEx delivery?   Intuit provides a potential example: TurboTax offers an “audit protection” service when filing (seems to me that the $30 could save anyone lot’s of time in that unhappy event).

I’ve written about this before.  I’m no airline expert, but with a little cross-functional collaboration and creative thinking I’d think Delta’s Marketing organization could actually be aligned with delivery.  At least I’ve now learned never to check any bags with a short layover through LAX.

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