They make you sweat blood

How to lose customers and win enemies / The Vodafone case

Sure we've all had good and bad experiences with brands. In my early advertising, the agency J. Walter Thompson, He taught me almost everything I know about brands, proposed in its “Strategic Tool Kit” analyze in depth the purchasing process of a product or service to detect what is the appropriate time to communicate.

If we analyze the process of buying a car, we will see that this is a complete and complex process that can take up to six months:

  1. the need is created. I navigate and public transport does not meet my needs. In addition, I am of age, I dispose of driving licenses and revenues or enough savings to take the plunge.
  2. Search. He is sensitive to car advertisements. Do not you looked before, now you look thoroughly. You look at all the options. Questions acquaintances, friends, family.
  3. Comparison. Comparables already exist. sizes, powers, consumption, prices. New, of ocassion. Today Internet allows real-time comparisons in the same specialized web.
  4. Proof. Not all products or services allow a previous test purchase (a liter of milk, for example), but a car yes. With our “short list” test request 3 elected in the comparison phase vehicles.
  5. Decision. We decided by one, but still you need to be collated before payment, credit, leasing, renting, facilities, associated insurance, essential accessories, guarantee…
  6. Purchase. Once cojetado everything and got funding, we commissioned before the sales manager of the brand of choice. Delivery car, if not in stock, It can take up 3 months (or more in the case of luxury vehicles).
  7. Experience and repetition. This is a key phase, because if the shopping experience, use and after-sales are positive, there will be a replacement purchase. This has happened to me, for example, When I got to repeat three models of the same brand without thinking. The Loyalty is a cornerstone here, and car brands have improved a lot worse in recent years. treatment, compliance with deadlines, efficiency in maintenance and repairs, vehicle operation, all influence the buying experience and use.

And, What about buying a frozen conventional? What is your buying process?. Is impulsive. Most times the need does not exist. It simply passes next to an ice cream kiosk, It makes some heat, and, without further ado, you buy. Repeat with the same brand will not be very relevant, what matters here is to find outlets. If a mark is very well distributed, You will have more options. That simple. Communication has to be “on the street”, as close as possible to the point of sale and the packaging is key.

Fidelity is relative if ice cream, since much depends on the distribution. As qualities, We assume that manufacturers have come to similar standards.

The Vodafone case

te hacen sudar sangre

They make you sweat blood

After a very negative experience with Telefónica / Movistar, full coverage problems (in central locations of a large city), outage in case of ADSL… I decided a few years ago by Vodafone. There were not many other options in Spain.

What it has been the system purchase this brand?

  • Need: by sheer survival, an operator needed to give coverage to the office where he worked. Vodafone had.
  • Search. There were no options. The other operators did not offer coverage for mobile phone.
  • Comparison: It was not necessary.
  • Proof. It was found that, effectively, a professional company whose mobile phone was operated by Vodafone offered the coverage required.
  • Decision: It was fast, Just a few minutes. The price factor was not relevant
  • Purchase. Process more slow, but effective at the end of the day.
  • Experience and repetition. Here is a look-at very frequent phenomenon occurs- of progressive destruction loyalty:
    • At first everything becomes easy, discounts, gifts (although it was not the reason for the choice)
    • From the first year, incomprehensibly bill increases an average of 20%.
    • Customer service becomes an unbearable experience, with unprecedented waits and dialogues with robots. Operators who live in another country and do not understand your words, communication breakdowns and back again.
    • The second year, third and fourth continuous destructive phase. Bills begin to see blunders, nonexistent lines, services which gave us low but still charge… an ordeal. Resolve a query by phone with Vodafone occupies minimal 30 minutes (hopefully). As if that were not enough, at the end they ask you to value a satisfaction survey. More time.
    • When you take 5 years old , think your fidelity (I would call it masochism) will be rewarded. What if, actually you receive a call, this time from someone who perfectly understand the voice, the accent… and you communicate that to be faithful will send you free of charge a iPhone + Three other smaller phones. Damn it! It fills you with joy face and think … good, after so much suffering I finally receive the prize.
    • You agree, You say OK, if you want you can save the three small phone, but no, the complete package is the offer. You receive them at home. Great joy.
    • The next day You receive a bill from 180 € for purchasing phones How? It was not without cost? You weapons of courage to call and claim, but then your rational mind tells you “Maybe you are not so bad to have received an iPhone for only 180 €”. no flames. swallow. You already have crept € 180 for something you have not asked.
    • After one year, and after endless problems with bills, charged with consumption nonexistent, nonexistent lines and major headaches, it's time to make the big decision: I will leave Vodafone.
    • It only cost me two months 23 long calls to leave, but I'm free!. What happened is that the promotion of loyalty that I said before wearing a secret clause (not communicated by telephone or in writing) why I accepted a remained eternal, automatically renewable every year if I did not warn with 3 months in advance. How am I going to tell something that I do not know?. Well then that clause meant me an extra cost of 1,000 €, ie € 250 per contracted line.
    • After several futile efforts and called in vain, I decided to denounce. But it's time and money, things that are scarce. So I went back to build value and called to announce my complaint. surprisingly, after 1 hour on the phone got a lady who gave me reason and withdrew the clause. Unfortunately, the computer system of the company has loopholes, so after this “epic achievement” I kept calling to demand money for the permanecia.
    • I have changed Orange. I know. It will be more of the same. But there is something I like: Call your service is staffed by robots. Better a robot than a human useless, ¿No?. I had such a good experience with the store clerks now, when I need something, I go to the store. They treat me like a king. At the moment, of course. We'll see how long this happiness.
    • I have spent paying almost 400 € a month to just under 100 € con Orange. Amazing. A good savings for more efficient service and better coverage.
    • The best? Vodafone made me a counteroffer so you do not leave me: The four lines of 65 € per month. That itself is amazing! Why on earth did not offer me before I left? I gather me I have been stealing more than 300 € a month for 7 years old . Of course they could give me an iPhone, They were more than enough.

Well, the nightmare is over. Does not it seem strange that such an important company like Vodafone punish fidelity in this way?

About me Guillem Recolons

Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies to better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (internal brand ambassadors programs).

Partner at Integra Personal Branding and Soymimarca, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers,, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting, AdQualis and QUIFER Consultants.

As lecturer, participated in the Graduate Social Media of UPF and UVic, in various programs in ISDI, speaker at the IESE EMBA, among other. Advertising man, Master en Marketing. Grade student of Humanities.

My DNA comes from advertising 20 years in agencies: BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.

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