5 Things in an Airport that Cost Less Than $7.00

Last week I lost a day of my life, a chunk of my soul and eventually my patience. But I did get a coupon for $7.00 from United Airlines because, and I quote from the voucher:

"We regret the disruption in your travel experience.

(12 hours delayed and in the end at 10:15pm they cancelled the full flight so most passengers ended up sleeping on the airport floor)

Please accept our apology along with the following amenity. $7.00 meal voucher for use at any participating food vendor."

Here are five things I found at the airport that cost less than $7.00:

A big bottle of Fiji water: $5.00
A container of Oikos Greek yogurt: $5.95 (why is all yogurt Greek now? And why isn't that helping their economy?)
A Venti Teavana Oprah Cinnamon Chai Tea Latte: $5.35 (and seriously Oprah? This is one of your favorite things?)
A Chicken wrap at Itza Wrap!: $6.99 (you'll have to pay the sales tax)
A Big Mac Meal of course: $5.69 (but at 1,120 calories and 48 grams of fat)

Dear United Airlines,
While I appreciate your gesture, the dollar amount for your apology is way off. Because your pilot did not show up for work, 167 passengers were stranded until the next day. To get the voucher they had to stand in line for over an hour. The total cost to you (IF everyone stood in line) was $1,169.00. Do you really call that service recovery? How about increasing that number to $15.00? For $2,505.00 you actually do provide a nutritious meal to the weary passengers. 

Denise Wymore
1 Million Miler

Loyalty Economics 101: Service Recovery

Last night I arrived in balmy Madison, Wisconsin - thank you United Airlines for getting me in EARLY. I checked into the Doubletree Hotel, got my warm chocolate chip cookie and opened the door to my even warmer hotel room. It was 80 and humid. I fiddled around with the thermostat and took off for dinner. When I returned it had cooled down to 78. Clearly something was not working. 

The Doubletree had a placard on the desk that said "We'll Make it Right." So I called the front desk to ask if I was working the air conditioning controls correctly. The nice gal at the front desk said she would send maintenance up right away. And right away there was a knock at the door. Duane arrived in uniform, very polished and apologized for the inconvenience. In under 5 minutes after he dismantled the unit on the wall he had the solution. Immediately I could feel cold crisp air filling the room. I set the temperature to "refrigerator" and climbed into the king size bed with 6 feather pillows. Heavenly. 

In the morning I found this note had been slid under the door. 

I'm Marriott Silver Elite. I'm only staying at a Hilton property because it's where CUNA has their out-of-town teachers stay. I'm here to teach Strategic Marketing to third year CUNA Management School students. I have all day with the students tomorrow - and my curriculum already has this covered. Word-of-mouth is, always has been and always will be the most effective form of marketing. And today with the Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, it's more important than ever that we "make things right."  That's strategic marketing. 

Good job Doubletree in Madison! And the breakfast was pretty good too!

Good Profits v Bad Profits: or why Apple is losing its luster

Last week my MacBook Pro (2008) was giving me fits. Actually it has been giving me fits for a couple or weeks and really freaking me out. I’m self-employed so my laptop is my business, my livelihood, my hub.

I was in Tacoma with a client and rushed to the Apple store at the mall. I was greeted by a very nice Apple person, I explained that I needed a lightweight computer to replace my 8 pound brick. She took me to the brand new 12 inch, 2 pound Retina display MacBook – in GOLD! I’m a girl and I do love me some sparkly things. It’s not an Air, but feels like one. It has all of the horsepower of a MacBook in an Air body. The reason it’s so lightweight and thin – it has no built in ports. It’s all about being wireless. And if the entire world would switch to AirPlay life would be good. I do a fair amount of public speaking for credit unions so I use old projectors to share my Keynotes. When I told my salesperson this she said, “Oh no problem, we’ll get you an adaptor.”

The adaptor (which basically plugs into the power hole and gives you back your ports) was an additional $79.00. There’s an HDMI, power and one USB port. Should be plenty for me. But now I have to buy an HDMI to VGA to plug into my port. And get this, Apple doesn’t make one. What? So we’re in the Apple store pulling up Amazon.com to see if they sell one. For $13.99 it’s mine.

Today it arrived, it takes up the HDMI and USB to get it to work, kind of a klunky set-up but what the heck. I only have to do this when I’m presenting. But then this happened:

ERROR CODE: USB Devices Disabled. Unplug the device using too much power to re-enable USB devices.

Super. I purchased the three year Apple Care ($249.00) and their new One-to-One training for a year ($99.00). I went online to see how to get support. Took me to a page that said “Talk with an Apple Care agent now!” I just typed in my number, the phone rang immediately and then a recording said they had unusually high call volume and if I needed immediate assistance (self-service) go to www.apple.com/support. I hung up. Fifteen minutes has passed and the damn recording just called me back! Again, unusually high call volume message was given to me. So let me get this straight Apple, if I don’t WAIT for your support you’re going to keep calling me until I do?

I just got the last Genius appointment for tomorrow. The nearest Apple store (the ONLY Apple store in New Mexico) is 55 miles from my house, one-way.

The definition of bad profits, according to Loyalty Guru Fred Reichheld: “Whenever a customer feels misled, mistreated, ignored or coerced, profits from that customer are bad. As my colleague Rob Markey and I explain in The Ultimate Question 2.0, bad profits come from unfair or deceptive pricing. Bad profits arise when companies shortchange customers by delivering a lousy experience. When sales reps push inappropriate products onto trusting customers, the reps are generating bad profits.”

When I was in the Apple store looking at laptops I posed the question on Facebook – what to buy? The 2 pound golden girl or stick with the MacBookPro. My dear friend Tim McAlpine said this: 13" pro is the way to go. With the amount of presenting you do, I'd be concerned about not being able to plug into power and the projector at the same time with the new MacBook.

I showed this comment to my Apple salesperson and she assured me the “adaptor” would taker care of it.

Next Tuesday I’ll be in Madison teaching 3rd year CUNA Management School students strategic marketing. I am on for the entire day. I have 128 slides, and worksheets, and fun stuff to show them. I just spent over $2500.00 at Apple and I’m not confident it’s going to work. And of course my $249.00 Apple care phone support is wasting my time and stalking me.

Here’s how Apple can fix these “bad profits:”

  • Anyone who has owned an iPhone, iPod, iPad knows that they run on different power supplies, have different chargers and if you upgrade everything is going to change. Give me one adaptor for “free.” Bake it into the price so I’ll never know,  so it feels like it’s complimentary and should go with the new product anyway.
  • Apple Care should be like United Airlines Platinum desk. Don’t make me stand in line behind everyone else. Give me access to a VIP line. For $249.00 you owe me that. And let’s face it, you only have so much room for Genius appointments, your store is always a madhouse. Wouldn’t you rather move some of that out of retail and in to the call center?
  • And finally – if you’re going to come out with these sleek new MacBooks with no ports then YOU should manufacture the adaptors so I can simply display my presentation.  I have a horrible feeling that is going to be the issues. Compatibility.

Does Apple Care cover me if I’ve purchased the wrong computer?

Guess I’ll find out.


My Love/Hate Relationship with The Facebook

Okay, I'm going to admit it now - I do GET the Facebook. And yes, I'm on it almost daily, spying on my nieces and nephews, posting food porn and living vicariously through Julie Ferguson. But should my business be on Facebook? 

Should your credit union have a Facebook page?

6th Story does have a Facebook presence, but I have not been updating it. Because, well, people know me, and I post on Denise Wymore's Facebook page.  I have a face. They know Matt Davis. He has a really nice face. You could say we ARE the faces of 6th Story. So why should 6th Story be on the Facebook? 

In order to set up a business account it has to be tied to a personal account. For a time Facebook had a business account feature that was stand alone but discontinued it. Maybe they only want "faces" on there. Hmmmm....

Should a credit union ask their members to like them?

 SOURCE: Frank Media

SOURCE: Frank Media

This always makes me feel sad when I see "like us" on Facebook.  It feels so 8th grade, passing a note during class, "Do you like me? Yes or No. Check one."  Now I know we all aren't really professing our "like" for something or someone. We may actually "love" them. We're just pushing a button and seeing a score increase. But what does it all mean? The blog Convert with Content says:

If the content is good, people will like it.  But don't ask for likes or shares as this could actually hurt you. 

Should your credit union advertise products on Facebook? 

I'm going with an emphatic NO! I get so annoyed with advertising. I've been able to pay to avoid most of it (Netflix, Spotify) but it seems like on the inter web it's alive and well and kicking and screaming and I just want to watch people's puppy videos! I don't care about your car promotion! Put that on your home page and maybe I'll see it when I'm dashing down the hallway to home banking. 

What should your credit union do on Facebook? 

Have some fun and show some faces. My favorite credit union on Facebook is without a doubt Spokane Federal . Look at all the faces on that page. I love things like a reminder that leaving your pet in the car during the summer is abuse, so bring them on in to the credit union, they'll even get a treat. That post got 22 likes and a big thumbs up from me. They seldom talk about their products or services. But the best part is they are really involved in the community. And not just volunteering. They have their own unique events like a meet the author story time for kids. 

Post good content and people will share. 

What should I not do on Facebook? 

Ignore it. Our Facebook stats are out there for all to see. We almost have 100 likes. I haven't posted anything in almost two months. Matt and I were talking about this, people kind of expect you to have a Facebook page, but then we have to be committed to keeping it fun and up-to-date. I'd rather be blogging. We may take it down.

And for the love of Pete, do NOT put shiny happy people on your damn Facebook page. It's bad enough you're assaulting me with these on your website. It's Face-book. If you can't find some real faces you should not be on there at all. 

Thanks for reading this, now will you go "Like Us" please?