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09/05/2009 by

Go Airlink NYC: Example How To Kill eCommerce

Last 10 days I spent in New York City. It was a very inspiring trip again. However the last day, Go Airlink NYC frustrated my love for online marketing and eCommerce a bit. Read along why…


Go Airlink’s brand promise: the only way to go

At the Go Airlink NYC website you can book an airport shuttle: a Van or SUV to i.e. JFK Airport. Pretty handy knowing NYC traffic during rush hour. I pretty much liked their brand promise: “the only way to go”.

But I was shocked to learn that their brand promise was very holistic and not true. At the homepage the website told: “A printer is required to print your voucher, please do not book unless you have a printer.” So the claim: “the only way to go” seems to be in practice: “the only way NOT to go.”

I called them and asked an operator: my dear friend, what tourist in a NYC has a printer in the room?? Why not provide a confirmation per e-mail or per text message for the 99,9% of the tourists that brought their laptop but no printer to NYC? Or does not have access to a printer in the hotel room?

The operator answered:”sorry sir, this is our policy.”

I tried to explain: “Sir, we are in the spring of 2009. How easy would it be to confirm the booking per e-mail or per text message to your potential customers, instead of printing a voucher?

Go Airlink’s answer was: “sorry sir, you need to print a voucher and show it to our driver.”

I said: “I understand that sir, but how can a tourist do that if they don’t have a printer available? Off course I could also show your driver the e-mail confirmation at my Blackberry?! Or show him my mobile display with a voucher and unique confirmation number you send me in a text message?!”

The operator answered:” I’m sorry sir, that is not possible.”

I said: “Now we are not able to book your service, sir. And many other tourists cannot book either. You will not only miss many bookings per year, it’s also an inconvenient and unfriendly way of doing eCommerce.”

The operator answered: “I do not agree sir.”

I asked him: “sir, do you still think your company should stick to it’s tagline the only way to go?? Because I hope you are now aware that Go Airlink’s rigid printer rule is the reason why we cannot go.”


One of Go Airlink’s shuttles that could have taken us to JFK Airport

So, we decided to take our suitcases into the street and look for the world famous Yellow Cab again. Next week I will post some very inspiring ideas and concepts that we spotted in NYC.

But I am really confused why some companies do spend so much money on promotions and media, but lack to listen to their customers? Is that there way into extra revenues, eCRM and loyal customers?

Do you know more frustrating companies that have holistic taglines or do their utmost to kill an eCommerce operation? Send us your comment and link below! Together we might be able to improve some brands? Maybe that’s the only way to go…


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Igor Beuker
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