In November this year I decided to book a holiday for over Christmas, in particular a SKI Holiday. I of course looked on line initially to gauge prices and then went into Thomson & Tomas Cook branches (Off Line.)
Firstly what I realised is that these travel companies may be some of the biggest in the UK, however in their stores they general market Holidays in the Sun, when it came to ski-ing (This is based on the representatives I spoke to) they were not much use.
I decided to go back on-line because I had specific requirements I wasn’t willing to book without talking to someone, I called a company called Crystal Ski. I realised very quickly that Crystal provide Ski & Snowboard holidays and so could give me all the advice I needed and couldn’t get in a general holiday shop or from a general Online holiday site.
I decided to make the purchase via phone and off course forgot about it.
Below is a timeline of events for the after sales service and marketing.
- Booked on the – 3/11/2012
- Received Email Confirmation on the – 03/11/2012
- Received confirmation invoice on the – 04/11/2012
- Received Marketing email – Thanks for Choosing Crystal Ski – 05/11/2012
After reviewing their initial email my thoughts were as follows:
- Great the fact they have a soft sell on additional products I didn’t purchase.
- It would be interesting to know if they were tailored specifically to me or generic.
- Small Sign of Social Connections at the bottom.
Sales Material with Voucher – Save £50 – 10/11/2012
- An Offer to Accompany my Holiday – Great
- Personalised Data About my Booking
- Small Social Presence at the bottom of email.
- Up sell on additional products for lift passes, ski hire etc..
I then received information about my info pack relating to my holiday – 02/03/2012.
- Additional Up sell information
- Main Link to my Travel Pack.
- Personalised Booking Information
The Main reason I keep referring to personalised data is ”as your customer” you the company have specific information that relates to them on a personal level. Some of the latest research from Econsultancy shows that using personalised information in your email marketing will increase the reactions from the receiver i.e. sales or enquiries.
- I also received a news update with useful information about the Hotel.
The Information Pack:
Unfortunately I didn’t take screen shots from the information pack, but it was broken into a few areas as follows:
- Holiday Details
- What to do
- Where to go
- Piste Map
- Contact Details & Useful Numbers
The Information Pack was the most useful part, why?
- Gave me exact details about my location and holiday
- Told me to Like and Follow them on twitter to keep updated.
This was the part I felt they did well, why? I actually wanted to like them, and I followed them and even tweeted them.
— Neil Walker (@TheUKSEO) December 3, 2012
Unfortunately, I received no response – Disappointing.
What accompanied the emails a few text messages.
The messages were based around Service, with the exception of their first email which was a reminder about my information pack and led me to the section with up sells and to connect with their social channels.
The second was contact details directly with my rep in the resort.
What did they do Right?
- Continued communication with me after purchase.
- Info pack led me to like and follow them.
- Service follow up.
Overall with the exception of getting no reply to my tweet, the aftersales service was excellent.
Where could they improve?
If you are unfamiliar with Econsultancy they produced a report on Digital Trends for 2013. It talks about personalised content and quote:
- Purchase history is only leveraged by 21% of marketing organisations, while 77% of those say it has a “high impact on ROI”.
- Behavioural data is employed by 20% of respondents, but 68% of them report strong ROI.
- Social graph data has the highest ratio of all; only 6% usage, while nearly all of those organisations (88%) giving it high marks for ROI.
-Econsultancy Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing Digital Trends for 2013.
There were two reasons I was captured by the email and after sales marketing:
- I physically purchased and wanted to know more.
- They had personal information which made them feel important.
What could they Change?
- Greater Personalisation within the email
- Increased focus on “Like” them on Facebook, tweet them.
- They could run deals associated to the up sell i.e.
- Tweet what you looking forward to for 5% of your ski pass??
Links to useful content article / info-graphics / videos they may want to push.
After The Holiday:
So the holiday was great and when I got back I received another email.
- Welcome Home – 09/01/2013
- Fill in the Questionnaire
- Up sell about next year’s holiday
How could they improve on this?
This is where I would then push the social side;
- If you liked your holiday “Like us”.
Even better to drive people to their Facebook page and improve Facebook Edge-rank they could:
Tag their holiday images on the Crystal Facebook page, tag them, their partner and friends in the images // Of course their friends will see the images and comment helping to increase the contact with the Facebook channel.
I have given you the example of a travel client; however this type of after sales customer service and marketing can be altered for any channel i.e.
- You buy a watch
- You get emails to check it still works, they happy with the purchase.
- These things make people feel good about the purchase.
On a lighter note, here’s my five year old ski-ing down the mountain.Posted in Strategy | Tags: After Sales, reviews, search social, social marketing, strategy