Our business is advertising and marketing. For years we've assisted companies large and small in creating images, messages and tools that will reach out to consumers and interest them in buying what our clients are selling.
Part of what we do is assist companies in creating a brand. While it is true that it is the consumer, and not the company, that actually creates the brand our job is to move that connection along, make it stick and do nothing to tarnish what has been built.
Sometimes however a brand gets sideways with business and makes a dumb mistake which can tarnish the brand. That can be a simple mistake or a bold lie. Ouch!
Want a small, real world example?
Late in 2016 I made reservations to stay at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk for several days of client meetings with the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association. My arrival was to have been on January 18th, 2017. However, late in December it appeared that I could not make the trip and cancelled my reservation on 31 December 2016. The automation at Wyndham is pretty good. I received an email confirmation within just a few minutes. (image left)
However when my American Express bill came there was a charge for $138.93 from the Wyndham property. I made contact with AMEX, provided them the details of the reservation cancellation and the policy on "no shows" and let the dispute effort take over. I called American Express because I trust them and I've been a member for decades.
A few days ago I received a letter from American Express saying that,, "...the merchant has explained that they have no record of cancellation." They placed the $138.98 back on my bill. Either the property made an error or they are simply lying just to see if they get away with it.
Here is what should have happened:
Once the hotel received word from AMEX there was a dispute they should have said, "We'll take care of it." Then give the consumer (me) a call and figure out what went wrong and correct it. Simple right? And then...can you imagine what the blog post might have been like? It would have polished the Wyndham brand rather than...well you get the idea.
Customers want to do business with people they know and trust...it's worth the effort.
Did I communicate again with AMEX and with Wyndham. Yes...we'll see where this goes.
Thanks for reading!