Your Customers CAN Handle the Truth

October 22nd, 2014

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You can’t handle the truth! That’s what a lot of brands think when they have to share news with their customers. But guess what brands? When you’ve got something to say to your customers and instead of telling them the truth you wrap it up in this enormous layer of BS, guess what? You look stupid, and your customers trust you less, not more.

I had an amazing experience last night checking in at the Four Seasons Boston. There was a delay at check-in. I’m like, “What’s going on here?” A couple minutes later, the manager comes out and says, “Mr. Baer, we’ve got bad news. The room that you were supposed to be in, the room that you were assigned, the guest who is in that room is too ill to leave the hotel.” Which actually, given current events, is a little worrisome, but that’s a different point.

So he says, “Mr. Baer, the bad news is we can’t put you in the room. The other bad news is we’re sold out. The good news, however, is we only have one room left in the hotel. That’s the Presidential Suite. So we’re going to put you in there.” Ladies and gentlemen, this room is the bomb

I’m going to give you a little tour of my room right now. (see video below for glorious tour)!

This is one-fifth of my room.

This is one-fifth of my room.

Okay Jay Today friends, there’s the piano I was just playing, and now here is one of the sitting rooms in my room here at the Four Seasons. There’s the balcony that looks out over the garden. There’s this sitting room here. Here’s the entry and a hallway. There’s a statue down there of some guy.

Then we’ve got the dining room complete with crystal chandelier. That’s pretty sporty. Then if I go down here, we’ve got a full size kitchen. Full size kitchen with a coffee maker, blender, a few other things in here.

I have a closet that’s bigger than my closet at home. I have this office, which comes with a Mac and a fax machine. So I want somebody from the Jay Today fan club to send me a fax. That would be fantastic.

Then I have the bedroom, which I like to call my bed chamber, because it’s more grand. There’s the bed. We’ve got a sitting area there, another sitting area here. Needless to say, this room is pretty fantastic. (I counted after the video….35 chairs in the room)

The Other Side of the Coin

Okay, so I am back at the piano, and I want to tell you why this room had such an impact on me in addition to the fact that it’s just a great room. Today, the exact same day that this whole thing happened at the Four Seasons, I got an email from my friends at Delta. I’m a big Delta supporter, a Delta frequent flyer, and I fly Delta as much as I can.

The email says, here’s the headline: “If everybody is an elite frequent flyer, then nobody is.” I’m like, “Hmm, what does that mean?” I read down, and they say, “Well, that’s why we’ve decided to change the threshold qualifications for frequent flyers for next year.”

Essentially instead of it requiring this many dollars to be silver, gold, diamond, platinum, it now requires many more dollars. They’re changing the prices required to be a frequent flyer. They’re making me do more to have the exact same benefits, not more benefits. They’re making me spend more for the exact same thing.

Delta Delta Delta can I Screw Ya, Screw Ya, Screw Ya?

Copy of  Copy of Add text (2)  (3) (13)I’m like, wow, that is pretty ballsy to essentially take a price increase and say the reason we’re increasing prices is because if everybody’s a frequent flyer, then nobody is. To me that’s offensive. It’s offensive on two counts. One, do they really they think they can send out millions of emails to frequent flyers who fly every day and make them think that, oh, this isn’t actually a price increase, what we’re trying to do is keep all the riffraff off the planes?

Two it’s offensive because they think that we believe that we want riffraff off the planes. I mean they’re essentially saying, “Look, instead of telling you the truth, that prices have gone up, so we’re going to have to change our prices,” they’re trying to wrap it up in some sort of class warfare, or frequent flyers versus non-frequent flyers warfare. It is absolutely appalling.

Look Delta, we fly you all the time. Why don’t you just send me an email from your CEO that says, “Look Jay, here’s the story. Prices of flights have gone up. Our pricing has gone up. There are too many people in each of the tiers. We’ve got to change the tiers a little bit. So what we’re going to do is make the qualifications a little bit higher for next year. Understand?”

I’d be like fine, I totally get it. But instead, they wrap this whole thing up in this enormous, enormous layer of BS. They think that I can’t handle the truth! But guess what? I can, and because they had the gall to think that I can’t and try and fake their way through this thing, it has cost them trust in my eyes, and I’ve got to tell you I’ll bet the eyes of a lot of other frequent flyers out there. Shame on you Delta. You should know better.

Sprout Social Shoutout

Here's Jess getting all Mary Tyler Moore

Here’s Jess getting all Mary Tyler Moore

Today’s Sprout Social Shoutout is for my friend Jess Ostroff. Jess runs Don’t Panic Management, fantastic virtual assistant company, does tons of work for us at Convince & Convert, including the production of these Jay Today videos, does our Social Pros Podcast, and the award winning Convince & Convert blog (this one that you are reading!). She helps lots of other people as well. Follow Jess in social media. She’s super funny and smart.

This video is f01-sprout-social-logo-MAINrom Jay Today is my near-daily 3-minute video where I talk about social media, content marketing, business and life. JayToday is available on Youtube, iTunes (as a video podcast, and now as an audio podcast too), and at JayToday.tv.

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The show is sponsored by Sprout Social (which I use for my social media), and Candidio (a great video editing service).

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