Monday, January 17, 2011

Hello and some lessons from the holidays

I just wanted to say "Hello" and wish you the best for 2011. I am already deep into work and haven't had time (or the energy?) to post. However, I wanted to share some lessons from the holidays with you:

  • Think about the impact of your actions.
  • Time is valuable, don't waste it.
How come? I am owner of a discount card for the German Railway for my business travel. And railway company sent me an email wishing me happy holidays and in the subject even mentioning a gift for me. After opening the email (I love real gifts and I am curious), I read it and saw that the gift was a "some Euros off" coupon for my next travel. Then I read saw that - as usual - some footnotes were attached.

  • The coupon was only valid for December 24th to 31st. This was the first bummer.
  • It was only valid on certain trains. 2nd bummer.
  • It was only valid with a certain minimum travel value. 3rd bummer.
In other words: The "gift" was worthless to 99.5% of the recipients. Probably some marketing guy had an idea for a campaign to hand out gifts to our most valued customers and got it approved because it doesn't cost anything. Well, it cost something because if the railway company would just have wished a happy holiday, everything would have been fine. But by wasting their customers time and sending something worthless and overpromising, it left  disappointed recipients behind.