Rugby World Cup fever has been dominating the lives of South Africans for the past six weeks, and for some businesses, it’s been a prime opportunity to capitalise on the local gees with clever marketing tactics and promotions.
Unfortunately, though, not all companies who jumped on the Springbok wagon got it right. The recent nightmare experienced by DStv customers is one such example.
MultiChoice gave South Africans the opportunity to watch the 2023 World Cup Final on Saturday, 28 October with a special once-off R19.95 deal on DStv Access streaming packages. A generous offer and deserving of a pat on the back to the marketing guys who used the R19.95 price point as a play on the year 1995 – the year the Springboks first won the Rugby World Cup.
Marketing brilliance aside, the promotion quickly fell flat when the customers who signed up for the deal realised that they were now locked into a 30-day cancellation policy.
This happens all too often. Businesses take a knee-jerk reaction because they don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity to news jack. But they don’t always think it through. It’s a communication breakdown between departments.
The marketing team and operations aren’t aligned, and this can cause a massive problem for the holistic customer experience.
Getting back up after being knocked down
Although mistakes happen, and MultiChoice did apologise for their faux pas, it’s how a company handles the error that can make or break the brand in the eyes of the customer.
Companies need to remember that when customers are upset, especially if there is money involved, their emotions are heightened. A quick resolution will go a long way. In the case of MultiChoice, they did apologise for their mistake and provided an email address for people having problems cancelling their subscription.
But is this enough? I think a better course of action would have been to proactively reach out to all who signed up to resolve any issues, rather than just providing a generic email address. This shows genuine customer care and a commitment to fixing the problem as quickly as possible.
What can businesses learn?
Businesses cannot separate their marketing campaigns from the customer experience. As the saying goes, the customer always comes first.
Today’s customers have very high expectations and an appetite for speed and efficiency. Marketers and brand managers need to become champions of CX if they want campaigns to succeed and stand out from competitors.
Three critical CX lessons for marketers
Don’t work in silos – There’s no point coming up with a great marketing idea if operations or the technical team can’t ensure smooth implementation of the idea. Instead of rushing things, marketers need to ensure the relevant departments are briefed correctly and that all potential issues or pitfalls of the campaign are addressed.
Map out the full customer journey – Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes should be a critical part of any marketing campaign. Questions to ask include, how will the marketing message be received or perceived? Is the communication clear? What’s the step-by-step logistics process for the customer?
Deliver on your promise – Following through on what’s been communicated and essentially ‘promised’ to the customer is where the real test lies. Making big claims for short-term glory is going to end up being detrimental to the brand’s reputation if these claims or promises are not kept or delivered in the way the customer expected.
Nathalie Schooling is customer experience specialist and CEO of nlightencx. She is an experienced strategist, trainer, and improvement specialist with more than 25 years of expertise in the customer service/experience industry. She founded nlightencx in 2005, which she has grown into a multiple award-winning customer experience company, recognised as South Africa’s leaders in multi-disciplinary CX.