Stop the Insanity! Avis Did
Insanity is often described as doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome. How is that different than what we've been doing in the email space for the last 10 years? Well, just when I had lost all hope and thought the madness would continue, Avis swooped in and saved me! So, thank you, Avis, for making me smile!
So here's the setup. A few years back, I was an Avis Wizard member. I traveled frequently for business to Atlanta and always rented from them. I was with a different company at the time, and since I traveled for business, I used my business email address for my transactions. Fast-forward a few years (and a few jobs), I am still traveling for business but don't rent nearly as often. So my relationship with Avis went stale.
Recently, I was planning a long family weekend and needed to rent a car (an absolute must when you need to drive around a family of five), so I dug out my old Wizard number and logged in to the Avis site. I browsed, priced and then got busy and forgot to finish it up...saved for another day. This is where the ray of light shines through my window and angels sing...
A few days later, I get a postcard from Avis. It says that the email they sent me bounced and, if I log back in and update my email address, they will email me a free upgrade! Genius! So what did I do? I logged in and updated my email address...three days later, but whatever, I did it.
I kept that postcard on my desk as a reminder, every day. And guess what? Avis delivered. They emailed me my free upgrade, and I booked my car! I could have easily gone with another provider, but Avis was able to stand out in the crowd and that is something I will remember for a long time to come.
So what can we learn from this? Yes, email is the channel that keeps me working, but I can recognize its shortcomings, and one of them happens to be that if you don't have a good email address you can't message to your customers.
Avis embraced a true multi-channel opportunity, bridging web, direct mail and email to communicate; leveraging the right mode of communication and in a timely manner that kept the entire experience relevant. I am still beaming about it!
Thanks Avis. I am inspired!