Yup & Nope: A one-minute look at brands in real life. Who’s doing it right and who’s doing it all wrong.
The excitement of getting a package in the mail never fades! The only thing that dulls the excitement is when you miss the delivery and have to wait until the next day, or longer, to pick it up. Or worse, you learn the package was dropped off at your door but vanished before you got home.
A company called InPost is keeping the excitement and overcoming the frustrations of receiving packages.
In our world of 24/7 everything, having to wait to get the stuff we order online seems outdated. InPost recognized this uber need for convenience and applied the click-and-collect business model to build a company that lets people pick up their packages on any day, at any time.
It works like this: you order something online as you normally would but choose InPost as the shipping method. Your package gets shipped to a bank of lockers. Once it’s there, you get an email or text letting you know it’s ready for pickup. At the lockers you enter or scan a code and the drawer with your package pops opens. The company operates in 22 countries and has about 16,000 lockers across North America. Refrigerated lockers are coming soon. As word of mouth spreads, it’ll be customers who will push their favourite online retailers to come on board and use InPost.
I love when a brand listens to the whines and whispers of customers and creates a service to counter the criticism. Good brands listen to what people are saying. The insight they gain gives them the ideas and confidence to turn something that’s not working into something that will.
InPost’s insight into the wants and worries of customers is captured in its value proposition, which are the constant and specific features and benefits of the service. In a few concise bullets it proactively counters the fears and frustrations customers have and promises a fast, convenient, secure and discreet service. InPost’s tagline further shows that it understands its customers and their emotional and practical needs: Simply Exciting.
Getting stuff in the mail is exciting, and this brand gives me confidence that it can also be more simple and safe than it is now.
You know that feeling you get when you’re in a one-sided conversation with someone? They do all the talking and they’re not even trying to make it seem like they want to know about you? Well, those “conversations” feel terrible, and they can happen with brands too.
I’ve recently been corresponding with a company that doesn’t seem all that interested in what I want or who I am. It’s off-putting to say the least. Especially since this is a company I could have a 20-year relationship with. Let me give you three examples.
All my communication with this company to date has been online and via email. That’s my preferred way to communicate. Despite that, one of the contacts phones and leaves messages for me to call him back. It wasn’t until I left a detailed message (I used his preferred communication method – and got voicemail) asking him to please respond to me via email.
When we finally agreed on a day and time to meet in person (which my email clearly requested, complete with day and time options), his response was “Sure thing, I will make some time for you.” Oh, okay. Thanks for squeezing me in.
Another contact at the company called me “Mrs. Noël”. Who? I’m no ‘Mrs.’ and never have been. Because I’m a middle-aged feminist (and since it’s not the 1950s) being called ‘Mrs.’ when I haven’t identified myself as such is a no-no*.
I know I’m griping and these examples are small in the big scheme of customer service issues but they affect my impression of the company and the people there to serve me. Each example makes me feel like the company isn’t listening to me, doesn’t know me and isn’t trying to.
A one-way conversation won’t allow you to connect with your customers. I don’t need a new best friend but I expect that a brand I’m getting to know also wants to get to know me. As a brand, it’s not all about you. In fact, very little of it should be. Pay attention and ask questions. Listen to and care about the answers. That’ll help build a true relationship and a positive impression of your brand.
*If fact, I’d recommend companies stay clear of any marital or gender-specific salutations or check boxes. Awareness and acceptance of sexual and gender identities is at an all time high. Companies should be aware of and adapt to societal changes like this because if change is happening within society it means it’s happening with our customers too.