Archives for posts with tag: service


What happens when a new service replaces a service we’re all familiar with? A service that you used infrequently or daily, at times of high stress and no time on your side? The brand claims the service is better, speeds up the process and is available in the palm of your hand. Will the brand make the transition easy or will I be stuck with a new service that has all the benefits for the brand and I feel cheated?

Many airlines are introducing the concept of mobile check-in to their services. I love the idea because I tend to crumple my boarding pass in my back pocket, even lost it a few times. It’s a fantastic idea, a win-win situation (less paper for the airline, more efficient and less stress and more convenient for customers). And then you get this:


The problem: I don’t feel confident with this solution.

I assume this is all I need: QR code for the agents, flight and my personal information. Still, when I first encountered electronic boarding passes, I was left with the question: “Is this all I need?”

What do I do when I need to check a bag? What does the security agent do, since they can’t sign my phone? Do I need to keep that screen on the app open or can I close it down and open when needed? What happens when my phone runs out of battery?

It’s not that hard, Delta just needed to add:

  • A sentence explaining that this eCopy is all I need to check in
  • Send a copy of this boarding pass to my email as a back-up
  • Remind me that customer service agents will be happy to assist me

That’s all I need to be 100% confident. And switch from paper boarding passes to ePasses for good.

Brands need to design with empathy for their customers to introduce a new service. It has to be so easy, a 3-year old and a 91-year old feel safe and secure.

P.S.: Now, if somebody could start fixing the wide array of horrendous and idiotic interfaces of public transportation systems, that would be lovely. I’m looking at BART. LA Metro. Amsterdam. Paris. London, Tokyo. The one person/company accomplishing this herculean task will raise the global GDP and efficiency by 5%. Within a second.


There are indications that use of Social Media is declining.People are still on Facebook and Twitter all day but they are getting savvy and more effective in their use of the tools. For brands, it’s getting harder to form a connection with customers; they are becoming very selective.

We caused that problem.

Social Media pundits, marketing experts and most of the agencies have encouraged brands to create Facebook and Twitter pages: “You need to join the conversation” was the mantra of the last few years. Many companies followed that lead. Problem is, people have only that much time and space in their life for brands to engage with. Typically, people have space for  2-3 brands they are very passionate about: an airline, an automotive brands, a restaurant. The majority of customers don’t want to hear from 98% of the brands on Facebook and Twitter.

Why? Because most companies continue to focus on themselves.

It’s the marketing comfort zone: Just like marketers want to engage people with their newsletters, campaign site, display ads and other marketing tactics, they regard social platforms as another way to message prospects regularly. The brand voice has become more social, the intent has remained the same.

People go to Facebook to connect with friends, not to connect with brands. If you provide them content that excites them (entertains them, inspires them, etc.), they might connect with their friends through your content. People have started to get annoyed by irrelevant contests, questions or content that doesn’t excite them, just considers them as extras in a brand play.

Instead, find valuable and entertaining ways to serve your customers.

Stop being brand-centric and start focus on your customers. How can you serve your customers? What would be valuable/entertaining/inspiring/exciting for your customers? Don’t focus on numbers, identify the customer of value and deliver something they want to talk about. Enrich people and they will enrich you.


I subscribe to the New York Times. Why am I willing to pay money for content that’s available for free on their site? (Until the paywalls go up.) Because their Times Reader makes it convenient for me to find all articles and read anything of interest very quickly. And they prepare the content for Sunday Times print edition so well, that I’m willing to spend around $20 monthly for that convenience. Why do I use iTunes even though the Amazon download is $3 cheaper? Because iTunes is so much better for my needs and gadgets.

Publishers are fighting the wrong fight. They are trying to protect their content because they see themselves as content providers. People are not willing to pay for content anymore. But they are more than willing to pay a pretty dime for a convenient service.

If publishers regarded themselves as service providers, would we have to deal with these awful slideshows and articles cut up into gazillion pieces to boost page views/impressions? Of course not. Would we have to wade through obnoxious display ads, advertorials and pop-ups? Absolutely not.

Publishers must provide people with new, unique and innovative services they’re willing to pay for, revolving around content people love. Protecting your content is a losing battle. Developing services surrounding content is the game-changer.