But we’re not everybody – make all your customers preferred platinum

Earlier this week I listened to a Jaffe Juice marketing/advertising podcast. If you've never listened to Joseph Jaffe, I recommend it. Jonathan Goodman's a big fan.

The podcast revisited his blog post titled Delta Skelter that was written in real time and recounted Joseph's recent horrific trip flying Delta Airlines (go figure a customer service rant that's related to flying). Read the post if you get a chance, or listen to the podcast, but the main message was the fact that even though Joseph was a preferred platinum frequent business traveler with Delta, they squashed him like a bug under foot.

And then said, "If we give you what you want for your troubles, we'll have to do it for everyone."

Really? But he's not everybody. He's a preferred platinum frequent business class traveler that you could've taken care of, but instead you didn't and the power of social media and viral marketing has turned against you.

David Meerman Scott recently discussed the fact that too many folk on executive management teams poo-poo the value (and power) of blogging and social media. Nobody's listening to those little bloggers so why should we?

Search for Delta platinum business class and Joseph's above post comes up in the top five organic search results. Not even Disneyland will help you there.

Which leads me to a recent example for us. Sadly I'm not going to rat out this company only because we work closely together and still have a relationship after many years. The deal is we offer their services to our customers and vice-versa. Recently I had to make some scheduling changes for a client using our partner's service. Anyone who works in the agency biz representing multiple clients knows how difficult it is keeping everyone on the same damn page. That's the client's prerogative; you're on their time and you do your best to keep the projects on schedule. Not only was our partner resistant to our need to make changes for the client (if we give you what you want, we'll have to do it for everyone – BS), but they ended up charging us more for the change.

Really? But we're not everybody. We're a preferred partner who's been working with you for years. It's a tough business world today and no one can afford to lose customers. Needless to say I won't be using that part of their service again. Our first rule in business is to service the hell out of our customers, and because of that they rave.

You don't control your marketing messages anymore. It's impossible. Brand loyalty is a finicky business and folks will turn on you, but you do have the power to treat all your customers (and prospects) as if they were platinum business class customers.

Because they are, aren't they? It's your business, baby. Work it out for them.

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