Don’t call me a customer!

I’ve been doing some traveling lately, which in part accounts for why posting on this blog has been a little slow… (sorry!)

Recently, just flew on Southwest and on Continental. I couldn’t help but to notice that a brand is built on the smallest little things.

I’m not about to go into a case study of Southwest, as it’s quite obvious that they have built a unique brand. They have their unique boarding and seating system. Their flight attendants make jokes. Southwest is definitely not your traditional airline.

But what I noticed during my travel is that Continental repeatedly referred to travelers, like me, as “customers.” True, I paid for my airfare… but somehow, I did not like being called a customer. I prefer the word “passenger”.

Now, of course, I’m only one person. I’m a data point of one. I do not represent everyone whom Continental serves or hopes to serve.

However, this points out how sometimes even a single word could make a difference. Now, that one word is not going to stop me from traveling on Continental. Continental still has a lot to offer me. And, at the end of the day, if I stop traveling on Continental, Continental probably wouldn’t miss me.

However, if you’re a small business, every customer counts. Especially, if you’re in a very competitive business, your customer could be turned off by something as simple as one single word, and be persuaded to go to your competitor where they feel more comfortable or welcomed.

Therefore, always keep you finger on the pulse. Big companies do extensive consumer research on every single word you see on any print ads or television commercials. If you are not doing that, make sure that you’re having conversations with your most loyal customers. Ask them what they think about your latest flyer.

Every little thing matters!

Photo credit: by gTarded

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