{Replica} Promotional mail from Deutsche Bahn: Lure offers fool premium customers


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PR blogger Klaus Eck is angry - via Twitter. Reason: The Deutsche Bahn has foiled yesterday with a one-hour delay his speech. But what really brings him to hell: For the lost date, there is only silly 15 Euro compensation!

{Replica} Promotional emails from Deutsche Bahn: Lure offers fool premium customers {Replica} Promotional emails from Deutsche Bahn: Lure offers fool premium customers

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

Profile

Premium customer or what?

Overview

How come? Eck is a premium customer of Deutsche Bahn, ie he owns a BahnCard-100, probably first class. 3800 Euro per year now costs such a free travel license of the German railway (last year still 3565!), In the first class even 6400 Euro. A proud price, for which you can expect a lot. And right, the ticket is valid throughout Germany, in all trains, at a price.

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This service also includes a few special services that the railway provides to their customers: baggage dispatch, bicycle transport and the use of the DB loungers. Thus, the Bahncard-100-owner becomes almost a premium customer with preferential treatment. This is also quite right, after all, he also pays enough for a pleasure in which the most, at least because one savings price and special tickets and BahnCard 50 counted, came away more cheaply.

BahnCard 100 customers are looking into the tube

Overview

But with one, the Bahncard 100 customers have the look, and exactly where the Deutsche Bahn would have to do the best again: in the case of the delays. The train needs to provide customers with delays of 60 minutes and more 25% of their travel costs. At two hours it is even 50%.

Bahncard 100 owners are compensated with ridiculous 10 or 15 Euro flat rate. Plainly said: If you pay 3800 Euro a year and wait an hour dumb in the area around, gets lousy 10-15 Euro for it. Anyone who issues 200 Euro once a year and has a delay on this route, 50 Euro may be filed. Where is the relationship?

Naive fallacy

Overview

Now the railway will presumably argue that the damage is proportionally small to someone who has unlimited access to the whole rail network, measured by the mass of the journeys. But that would be a dairy calculation: Because the course calculates so finally also that not all Bahncard 100 owners take full advantage of the value of their BahnCard. How it turns and turns: Who runs with the Bahncard 100 is in this case the fool.

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And from the point of view of customer loyalty a really stupid mistake! For premium customers like Klaus Eck feel obviously fooled and then make it public. It will look like that:

No good advertising for the DB!

With lock offers in the hunt for new customers

Overview

Instead of keeping such premium customers, many companies, including Deutsche Bahn, go to great lengths every year to attract new customers with attractive offers. Everywhere you catch a tempting eye and suggest: Buy now. Sign a contract now. Because it's still cheap!

One can argue about whether this is legally correct from the point of view of consumer protection. Companies are much more interested in the question: is it useful? I mean: No, lock offers make little sense. And I explain why.

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Examples from bank to train

Overview

Example Bank: Offer to invest money for half a year at a high interest rate. Of course, the bank hopes that the client will continue to leave the money at the bank after this deadline - at a lower interest rate. But what is it that keeps customers from moving on to the next bank after this deadline?

There is an offer from Deutsche Bahn already better: One year subscription in the transport network and for a year the Bahncard 25 for free. Only: Who did not want to complete a subscription anyway, will hardly be tempted by this offer, because what even if you get the Bahncard, that weighs the cost of a subscription that you do not need, barely on.

Why lock-ups are harmful

Overview

In the end, I believe that these lock offers bring only new customers, if they wanted to complete the contract anyway.

On the contrary, I consider such lock offers long term harmful. For only the customer may explicitly use the offer of baiting, which previously did not have his money at the respective bank or so far no subscription at the respective public transport company.

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The customer feels betrayed

Overview

On the other hand, those who, as a loyal customer, were satisfied with the service provider for years, are on their toes. Because he learns through such lock offers: It is better to change more often than to keep the service provider loyalty.

And in the future, this customer will explicitly look for a short contract period and lock-in offers instead of keeping his service provider as conservative up to now. But: That's not what companies want - is it? Therefore, lock offers are simply the wrong signal to loyal customers!

Attention Advertising!

Overview

Incidentally, the customer also feels duped here: Deutsche Bahn has an affiliate program. However, the advertising material is not correct: the BahnCard 50 is advertised with full credit against the saver prices. The program misleads website operators and customers. Who slept there again?

My website is listed in one of the top spots for the search term BahnCard 50. Reason is one ArticleSeries on the Deutsche Bahn, which some time ago wrote about their price system and explains to the readers the hidden advantages and disadvantages of the individual tickets.

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That's why I recently applied for Deutsche Bahn's affiliate program. When I wanted to install the advertising banner yesterday, I noticed that the advertising material for the BahnCard 50 is anything but correct: Deutsche Bahn runs a banner advertising the BahnCard 50 with the words "Combine with the Sparpreisen the train ".

Wrong info

Overview

This info is simply wrong, as you can read quickly and easily. Because the Bahncard 25 can be combined with the economy prices - but not the BahnCard 50, which is also explicitly stated in my contribution to the BahnCard 50. That would be fantastic, if it would be different, because then the BahnCard 50 would be much more worthwhile - for everyone.

Update: The Deutsche Bahn has apparently been attentive to my mistake through my blog post and has improved the banner - but completely commentless. The difference between old and new banner can now be seen above!

All money-making?

Overview

Whereas it is so with the previous pricing system that you can actually save significantly more with accurate planning on the BahnCard 25. Except in local traffic - at least outside of transport networks. In any case, the price system always seems to me to be calculated exactly so that it skims a hair's breadth past the customer's benefit. Thank monopoly!

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No wonder, then, that the customers, with their permission, are confused!

And now this advertising error. I do not want to know how many customers have bought a BahnCard 50 because of such a bad banner - out comes something like that. The problem is compounded by the fact that this case is not explicitly mentioned. Please correct!

Why am I train affiliate?

Overview

And before anyone thinks strange, that despite all criticism for the German Bahn advertising: Yes, I recommend with my affiliate link the product of Deutsche Bahn. But above all because there is no alternative.

If you are looking for the BahnCard 50 on the Internet, you either want to buy it or not. I offer my readers objective, critical information on the topic. With the link, readers can then buy the BahnCard - or not.

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Positive and negative to Deutsche Bahn

Overview

Apart from that, there are definitely positive things to report about the Deutsche Bahn company: I know several employees who are really enthusiastic and satisfied there, especially with their training. Yes, Deutsche Bahn even provides its employees with a kind of job center so that they can be recruited to other positions in the company.

I really like to train, at least ICE driving is for me the stress-free kind of traveling (well, I was not in an ICE with faulty air conditioning system).

Gifted customer acquisition!

Overview

Only the customer service, and that's just what most people are aware of the train, leaves to be desired. And, above all, the pricing system is so complicated that even its own employees do not even understand it - neither at the counter nor, apparently, in marketing.

Too bad. A missed customer acquisition strategy. This comes out when people are only traveling with the BahnCard 100!

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Also, publishers can advertising

Overview

Newspapers have no more money. Therefore, they have to save on salaries and fees of their employees - and thus on the quality! That's why publishers demand an ancillary copyright! Anyhow so the common opinion. Surprisingly, there is money for some unnecessary things.

An unnecessary issue for the Springer publishing house was probably the 42.000 Euro Roaming charges, which caused image chief editor Kai Diekmann in his Morocco vacation. However, I have the hope that so much stupidity is an isolated case. And Springer has it ...

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Pseudowitzig past the target group

Overview

But unfortunately there are other, no less stupid ideas in newspapers to spend money completely pointless. By feebleminded advertising campaigns, for example. A great example I recently discovered in a Berlin swimming pool. "We'll help you undress" stood there next to the men's dressing room. The ladies would probably have come over sexist ....

That should be funny, because it was small that it is the housing market of the Berliner Morgenpost. That you are funny, but it goes completely past the target group - or what percentage of the swimming pool visitors will probably just want to move?

History marketing that no one understands!

Overview

Just next to it is this advertisement on a taxi in Berlin. Seriously: Who sees this taxi drive past, first thinks only one thing: that the passengers in it may not wave themselves ... huh? And who then? The driver?

But no, everything is wrong, the Berliner Zeitung wanted to point out with this great headline from the year 1961 only their historical past. It may still make sense to appeal to the tradition of its readers - who else buys print today? But even if this advertisement is aimed more at the educated reader, as the Umberto Eco once put it: that message simply requires too much thinking in order to understand it. Anyway, more than you have when the taxi rushes by for a moment.

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Better Social Media?

Overview

Maybe those responsible in the publishers' marketing floors should just read the press releases from the German Association for the Digital Economy, which says that social media advertising 2010 will continue to increase - and rely more on social media instead of taxis and swimming pools?

But wait, there was something: right, even that does not work, like that Süddeutsche Newspaper has proven. She tried to buy praise from bloggers via Trigami - or somehow it was all just a misunderstanding that they never tried. Jan Tißler described this case very nicely and also aptly commented: "How unconvinced even national German daily newspapers are of their own products is shown by a current example ..."

How about quality

Overview

But I did not mean that. Social media is actually nothing more than the good, old oral propaganda. And it can neither be bought nor influenced, but is created by high-quality products and good service.

But somehow nobody seems to understand the newspapers ... why is that? So I say: Throw the money but better just out the window!

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  2. All debates follow
  1. Lennie Ouimet

    I have had to ride the DB a lot in the past 2 years. I have had very bad experiences. Only delays or traffic jams. It was the worst in 2010. All other companies would already be bankrupt. But such a state-owned company can probably afford everything. The DB is unique because it combines the disadvantages of a public employer and the disadvantages of the private sector !! Never again Deutsche Bahn! The only advantage of the inventory was the delicious food in the on-board restaurants ...

  2. Simone Janson

    Hello Mr. Keller,
    Thank you for your review, which I think is quite blatant: That the train does not want to refund, it is almost known that they destroy evidence .... Great that you have complained and got right. Unfortunately, that's the problem: Mostly it's about so small amounts that a lawsuit is not worth it, so that many companies are unfortunately also completely unreasonable.

    However, I was concerned about another point - from company perspective: to scare off its best customers (ie the most) in the way, does not seem to me in the entrepreneurial sense useful, even downright harming business. Especially since Deutsche Bahn actually wants to win business customers ...

    However, where I can not quite follow you: What do these consumer problems have to do with s21? There are, in my view, different departments in a huge corporation ... therefore I would not throw these two points into a pot.

    gruß
    Simone Janson

  3. Wolfgang Keller

    what happened to Mr. Eck is unfortunately on the agenda. It gets worse. I had to sue the train first, because I had submitted with such a refund application for 15 Euro an original Taxibeleg (arrived after midnight) case in part here - the train had shredded my taxibeleg after scanning, wanted to refund him nor could she him return and despite multiple written request, to be reasonable by having first sued before the AG Frankfurt (and then after a lawsuit was on the table but paid). The company is in his company genset deeply customer-unfriendly - that was how Mr. Mehdorn and how flexible his student is Mr. Grube, he just shows with his views on Stuttgart 21 - is all 100% consistent in the field of illegal behavior - the systematic Shredding the original receipts of customers is strictly speaking property damage - knowingly sell seat reservations, where you know that the train does not drive is strictly speaking fraud (I had too) and how happened at 30.9 fell at S21 trees and the court for withheld information , is anything but clean. Not to mention the spy affair. Therefore, everything is consistent. A state-owned company that apparently only marginally handles laws. Not acceptable

  4. Simone Janson

    Hello Bodo,
    I agree with you, I find an hour also somewhat scarce, would not do so synonymous. However, there are people who are so busy that they have to plan so tightly. Especially since some train connections also exist not only hourly but only a few times a day.

    However, it was about the fact that the BahnCard-100 customers were compensated with so little money, because I find this simply unbelievable. Even worse, by the way, the people with route abbos turn: the get only 5 euro.

    The contribution was to be honest also already longer planned. Klaus Eck then served only as a current hanger :-)

    Simone Janson

  5. Bodo

    Well,
    I find the story has two sides.
    On the one hand yes, quite clearly: 15 Euro compensation is for a BC100 Kd. ridiculous. The track shows little finger tip feeling. It is quite understandable that Mr Eck is annoyed.
    On the other hand, Mr. Eck is also responsible. If he has an important date for him, 1h is perhaps a bit short -> the man does not drive to the 1.Mal track, right?
    A little more buffer might just have been better. Now, of course, he is annoyed. But the train is not responsible for the planned action after a trip. It must not matter to her whether someone at the destination cakes eats, has a job interview or wants to give a lecture! Therefore, Mr. Eck is a bit unfair when he writes that 15 euros are not enough for a failed date. No, 15 Euro is not enough for BC100 owners. That's all.

  6. prblogger

    The premium customer as a milking cow of the company Bahn verarscht <b> ... </ b>

  7. Heiko Bartlog

    RT @SimoneJanson Post about @klauseck & #Bahncard100: nice example, how to fool the best customers #bahn #fail

  8. markus

    RT @SimoneJanson: Post about @klauseck & the #Bahncard100 - a nice example of how a company is using its best customers:

  9. Simone Janson

    Post about @klauseck & the #Bahncard100 - nice example, how a company rip off its best customers:

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