First, a story
Over the holidays, I flew in and out of Dulles Airport, which has an (exclusive?) arrangement with the Washington Flyer taxi company. I made a reservation for a Washington Flyer taxi to pick me up and drive me to the airport. The driver arrived early to pick me up. He carried my suitcase down my front steps to the car. He asked me if I had everything I needed and then we were off. We had a nice chat, and before you knew it, we were at the airport, where he wished me a safe journey. It was a five-star experience.
On my way back, however, my experience rated two stars at best. Why? It was the same company (Washington Flyer), the same route, but a different driver. The driver on the return stretch did not speak to me. He would not engage in any small talk about the weather or the traffic. So we traveled in silence. And then, when we arrived at my house, he took out my suitcase out of the trunk and left it there, not offering to carry it up the stairs for me. I am not sure if he didn’t speak English very well, or perhaps was hard of hearing, but the lack of engagement made the taxi ride tedious and the driver’s lack of attention was irritating.
Your experience matters
Having a friendly interchange makes a difference in how you feel about your experience. Think about when you go to a store and the clerk can’t be bothered to help you. You probably just buy what you came for or you just walk out of the store. Then think about the store where you go in and you are greeted with a friendly smile and a “what can I help you find today?” You feel welcome, which may lead to you spending more time in the store or even buying more than you planned. Or when you go to a party, and the host greets you warmly and introduces you to others. Or when you are a networking event, and someone smiles and comes over to speak to you. Or when you are traveling, and can’t find an address until someone offers to show you the way.
What is it to be friendly?
Friendliness is a positive attribute.
Merriam-Webster provides several definitions for the word “friendly,” among them:
showing kindly interest and goodwill
serving a beneficial or helpful purpose
easy to use or understand
designed or intended to accommodate particular needs, users, etc.
What is friendly marketing?
Friendly marketing creates a better, more positive experience for your audience.
- Friendly marketing considers you (the audience/end users) its first priority.
- Friendly marketing makes things clear and easy to understand.
- Friendly marketing gives you the information you need to make a decision.
What’s not friendly marketing?
Unfriendly marketing creates annoyance and frustration, and results in a negative experience for your audience.
- It’s not friendly to overwhelm your audience with email marketing messages.
- It’s not friendly to use jargon and hard to understand language.
- It’s not friendly to make your website visitors struggle to find what they need.
Bottom line: Make it your marketing resolution for 2022 to be more friendly