Stop talking or writing about your new app, video, Twitter feed or Facebook page. Start making your customers’ lives simpler, faster, cheaper.
"Dear Gerry," the email from John Kavanagh, Loyalty Marketing Manager for Aer Lingus begins. "As a valued member of our Gold Circle programme I am delighted to be contacting you with news of the newly launched Aer Lingus App."
Well, I’m delighted you’re delighted. How’s the family? Fancy a drink sometime? And by the way, John, what does this "app" do and why should I care?
"This is the first phase in bringing Aer Lingus closer to you, our customer," John continues. Closer to me. I’m so excited. Let me tweet about it. "We look forward to providing you with more control of your travel plans, and giving you access to the latest travel information, all at the tap of an App."
The "tap of an app" Such alliteration and poetic resonance! The Nobel Prize awaits.
"I do hope this new facility will make travelling with Aer Lingus a more seamless and enjoyable experience, offering you access to the latest travel information as quickly and conveniently as you need it," John continues.
After four paragraphs of sparkling, stunning and stupendous English, John finally explains why I should care. I can check in for flights (on selected routes only). I can search for cheap flights. Okay. That could be useful. Thanks, John. But next time, save the Shakespearean drama and just get to the point.
There is a terrible disease out there. Bloated, organization-centric language. And the biggest criminals seem to be those who have the most formal training in language. Those who “love” to write.
Today, I got an email from SAS (I fly a lot.). The subject said: "Time to unlock!" What? "Like SAS on Facebook today to unlock our competition page and you could be in with a chance of winning lounge access when you next fly with SAS ..." Very clever. Now I get it!
Except that the only reason I did not immediately delete the email was because I thought it might provide me with a nice example of how not to write to customers.
Editor's Note: You may also enjoy WEM: The Web is Critical. The Web Team is Not.
Twitter recently launched a new version of their service. It didn’t work. They heavily promoted this new version and encouraged me to move to it. I didn’t because it didn’t work. Then, one day, they forced me to the new version. All I saw was a blank screen.
I went to the site, really annoyed that Twitter had launched something "new" that just doesn’t work. Got to the support page. It asked me if my screen was blank. Yeah. Then it explained "it’s just a bug." A bug it had known about for ages and hadn’t fixed. Then in "I’m your best friend" language it tells me to do loads of stuff like clearing cache and cookies (which I definitely don’t want to do). Then it tells me that if I should need to contact them I get “bonus points if you tell us your connection speed!”
Bonus points! Yippee! Oh, so cool! Your content is so warm and friendly, I feel like I’ve had this amazing "user experience." But, hey Twitterites (I feel like you’re my new best friends) how about next time, just fix the bug.