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?

Happiness after dismissal

It is a topic to talk about dismissal and depression, mourning phase, of uncertainty, disorientation, crisis. As he had said Louis van Gaal, "Always negative". And, What about the positive side of dismissal? Why you would never talk about people who have discovered that there is a better life after an ERE? What about those who, From overnight, They have discovered that they were authentic entrepreneurs? Why do we insist so much on our coverfailures? Is there life after dismissal?

How could it be otherwise, I will begin with a case I believe I know well, mine.

For GR. Life begins at forty

Photo taken at my funeral advertising, on 2004

the what

I have the personal and professional privilege to have experienced a layoff, what was the lever launch of a new life with more flavors than unpleasantness. With more flashes of happiness than sadness. If today I dedicate to personal branding it is because of what happened at the end of 2004.

The how

I started my career very young. My first payroll, contract internship advertising agency Tiempo BBDO, It is dated January 1979. I had 16 and she is studying at night. I understood then that the environment communication, This iscreativity, advertising and all the madness that lead would become myprofession.

So it was. Pass 11 years J. Walter Thompson, then by Bassat & Ogilvy and then Saatchi & Saatchi. Total, some 20 years in the environment of international advertising agency, working for big-budget advertisers and global brands. after those 20 years I wanted a taste of being a shareholder of a company, so I accepted the offer to head the agency Barcelona Altraforma. Year 1998 and the experience could not start better.

I felt comfortable, It works with the same intensity or more, weekends, some nights. But it works "for me". A small piece of the result (If I recall one 15%) it was Min e. In 2000 and 2001 we managed to put the agency ranking places reserved for very large groups. We were a dreamboat. We receive many offers from multinational purchasing groups. The circumstances made no such offer was accepted (crass error) and that 2003 signs are sighted deceleration. I lost a client, some untimely dismissal, things happen in the best families and are often overcome.

But something happened that marked my life forever. Without knowing it, I settled on "comfort zone“, in the brain that obscures the need to change the way of doing things. It is possible that some adverse circumstance in my family environment influenced my mood, but outside any rate in September 2004 I reached out an agreement with the majority shareholder of the agency. Euphemisms aside, I was fired from the company. Let's be clear, please. I sold my shares and I went in December of that same year, after a Christmas party that became my funeral advertising.

In January 2005, and thanks to an advertiser who did not want to release my, I started my own business, Lateral Consulting. What side it came by the positive influence of Edward de Bono y su “Lateral thinking”, a book that should be read to babies in the cradle.

There I discovered that I could work like a donkey and be happy. The pressures were my pressures, nobody put me goals, I put them on my own. Without knowing it, iDEE my own personal branding plan. In 2007 I accepted an offer to manage the business in Spain TVLowCost, a young French agency that broke the mold and opened in two years subsidiaries worldwide defying its philosophy to large multinationals. The invention is not worked here, which it gave me new parameters to know what not to do, but fortunately my business with Lateral Consulting worked well.

In 2007, from Lateral, I started working on projects and communication strategypeople-oriented, professionals. Politicians, entrepreneurs, people who had suffered a layoff ... I still do not know, but my good friend Linda Reichard One day he told me that what I did is called "personal branding“.

Earlier 2010, hand that would later be my current partner, Jordi Collell, We attended a conference in Madrid on personal brand captained by sherpa Andrés Pérez Ortega, and in October of that same year we opened SOYMIMARCA.

The why. Key learnings.

Happiness exists. You just have to go get it. And that is achieved overcoming fears.

Risking is key. If you do not risk you can live reasonably well with a living wage, but it will be difficult to go to work with the appropriate degree of motivation.

You can live with less. Many people are closed in band to undertake for fear of not reaching the levels of remuneration they were working as employees.

Think big. Think big. If you have a good idea, ponle resources, do not be stingy. No idea prosper without a decent investment.

Surround yourself with the best. So far the topic. But I mean surround yourself with the best people, of people whom you can trust the keys to your life. Quickly detach yourself who do not share your level of enthusiasm for the project, It will become a toxic agent.

Become a plan. you map. Follows a script. And you see adapted according to circumstances. Do not close to change course, but keep the destination. And remember, as the Greek poet said Constantino Kavafis, the important thing is not only to reach the destination, but learning trip without forcing the crossing.