Thursday, March 14th, 2013
I’ve mentioned previously the advice a colleague gives her hotel clients: Welcome and encourage all travelers, not just the business guest who, while exiting the airport, checks in through a smartphone application [app] to learn his/her room number and doesn’t need a porter or any reception services. Remember the traditional traveler who wants to check in with a person: You need them both.
I thought of her warning–no doubt she knew of hotels that forgot their tech-deprived clients when eliminating jobs and/or services–when a friend described his frustrating experience reading a printed travel magazine from a major publisher. It was designed to be read on a tablet or smartphone and was almost useless as a printed document.
Information in the cover story about Rome, such as the address or phone number of a featured shop, hotel, restaurant or tourist attraction, was nowhere on the printed pages or in the back where editors sometimes tuck such information.
By comparison, last week’s New York Magazine listed an address and phone number for every one of hundreds of entries in its “Best of New York 2013” issue covering countless categories. Now that’s a keeper.
To find an address or phone number you have to be at a computer to type in each email address–such as palazzoesposizioni.it. Try getting that one right the first time from the italicized 8-point type. I got it wrong—left out one of the z’s–which is easy to do as most of the addresses are long and, for many of the readers, in a foreign language. Then what? Where do you write the address? There’s no room on the printed pages.
My friend wrote, “What a waste of money—I can’t be the only reader who feels cheated.”
Saving the article as-is for a trip file is out of the question. Who would subscribe or pay $5 for another newsstand copy?
Why, when companies jump on the latest bandwagon in search of new customers, do they so often forget about at least half of everyone else? Even the slickest and once smartest can be embarrassingly clumsy in making a transition or adding technology. Have you noticed similar examples in these or in different industries?