Anyone familiar with the New Yorker magazine will know that it often explores areas of art, culture, finance and politics from an angle that is fresh and original. That convinced me to subscribe when I got to the US 12 years ago. It is a great magazine, and I have been a faithful subscriber ever since. I say faithful intentionally, because one of the attributes of Faith is a tacit understanding that whatever it is you believe in has your best interests in mind.
What has this got to do with the price of seeing Eustace Tilley every February? Well, I got my subscription confirmation by email and it included a summary of the price I’d paid, and a link to receive alerts of articles as they appear. I clicked on the link to sign up, and there in the middle of the link was an offer to subscribe to the magazine for $10 less than the renewal I had just paid. And a gift. Not a free gift, but a gift.
Next time I’d prefer a bit more transparency: “Dear Mr Maoz, it is better for you to let your subscription lapse each year and have your partner subscribe, and then the next year you subscribe. This way we can reward you as a new subscriber with a discount and gift. If you choose to stay a loyal subscriber we must charge you more. We call this Irony.”
Or, just check the workflow on the subscription notice. Maybe I am ok with paying more than a new subscriber, but not when the very first thing one does is receive a more attractive offer right after a summary of your payment. Every business has multiple examples of petty mistakes in web process flow. Gartner is no different. Like the New Yorker we invest an incredible amount of time in an effort to get things right. One of the most valuable approaches leading businesses are pursuing is to leverage the reader community: actively engaging them to troubleshoot the workflows, text, offers that are on the web and comment. And then they get to see the living responses to these insights from the business/enterprise.
I’m sure Harold Ross would be embracing this concept and would have found a way to work it into an article. Customer-centricity is always evolving, and often our own customers are our best source for assistance on how to make our intent to please customers also (more consistently) the reality.
Ah – of course I am keeping my subscription. The price is a steal. Just don’t tell them that.