My husband and I went on a business trip to California last year and booked through Travelocity. Prior to this we had always used Expedia but just wanted to try something new. That was a huge mistake that will never, ever, for the rest of my life be repeated. Nope, it’s Expedia all the way from here out. It all occurred when we landed in an airport in Northern California, only to find out that the client inadvertently gave us the wrong airport. It truly was a slip of the tongue, but the correct airport was in Southern California.
Had we booked through Expedia they literally would have worked day an night to get us into Southern California with a minimum amount of stress. Trust me, we’ve had some travel lulu’s and their customer service handled it excellently. With Travelocity, they completely threw us under the bus. Basically, it was our problem and the only solution they could provide was for us to purchase new airline tickets, new hotel reservations, new car rental, and still pay them for our current trip since we were past the cancellation deadlines. We went completely up the chain of one supervisor to another and the answer was indeed unified – we can’t help you, sorry that is your problem. If you want to pay us more money we would be more than happy to accept it. This was a complete nightmare. We were furious with the lack of customer concern or support.
How we got from Northern California to Southern California is too long to tell. But it turned out to be a wonderful adventure. Expedia basically saved the day. We told them our story and they immediately got to work, reduced our stress levels and got us safely into Southern California.
Now what has all of this got to do with authors? It has two main things that can help authors. What image do you project and what experience do you provide your readers. The image you project and the experience that you provide your readers must match or you will lose your credibility.
Travelocity creates a good image, but the experience they provide as far as I am concerned is deplorable. As a result they have lost credibility and me as a customer forever. Expedia also has a good image and the experience that they provide matches their image. As a result they will have me as a customer forever.
What do you let your readers know about you? What image are you projecting in your bio’s? What image do you project when readers view your books? If you are projecting good images, do you also present good experiences for them? When they email you, do you email them back? If they re-tweet you or give you a mention on social media do you thank them or not respond? Are you open to their requests? Do you do anything to make them appreciate them purchasing your book? All these things count. An image can be created to look appealing but an experience is the true picture of who you are.
My readers know that I answer emails, I communicate as much as I can with those who promote me on social media, and I am attentive to their comments. If they have a great experience with one of my books, I want them to have a great experience with my brand as well. It’s the experience that generates repeat buyers.