I’ve just bought a holiday. I don’t go on many holidays, so this is a big deal for me. As it is a holiday for two, this counts as the most expensive thing I have ever bought. I don’t own property, I’ve only ever owned one second-hand car. The only thing that comes close in terms of monetary value is my desktop.
Contrasting the two purchases has driven home the absolute necessity of high quality customer service in high-cost transactions. My computer purchase was riddled with problems – the most notable of which involved me being charged twice and incurring overdraft fees. And while the option to fully customise my purchase was what persuaded me to use that vendor, the lack of a record of what I actually bought was shocking. On the other hand, my holiday purchase went off smoothly (so far). I have an itemised record of my purchase, and the optional extras were both relevant and thoughtful.
While people in a higher income bracket than me may disagree, holidays aren’t cheap and should therefore be seen as a premium product – whether it is via budget airline or not. If I’m buying a £1200 computer, I’m not going to notice if one vendor charges £50 more to contribute to a more effective customer care. It is something one expects, and makes a potential stressful purchase more relaxing. This in turn fosters a strong relationship which can lead to further purchase. For my next holiday (which, at this rate, will be sometime next decade), I know the first place I will look.
This can relate back to how media owners treat small and new advertisers. Few have the budget of a P&G or Unilever, and while these should correctly be given great priority, the infrastructure should be put into place to help every new advertiser go through what will be a daunting procedure. I’m not just thinking of regular courtesy calls, but (optional) step-by-step handholding. So long as rates don’t change drastically, this won’t affect the media owner competitively. Not only do the pennies add up, but as these small businesses hopefully flourish, their spend should rise commensurately.