Like a lot of people, lastminute.com is one of the sites i’ll regularly check out before i book a hotel anywhere. Usually, i’ll look at hotels.com for hotels on certain dates, then i’ll shortlist some hotels and use tripadvisor to do some research on them.
If the hotels look good, i’ll then set about trying to find the cheapest rate going and lastminute.com is one of the places i’ll check out. They also offer discounted tickets and tours and stuff – i used them last year for my London trip, and i’ll probably be using them again this year.
Anyway, today lastminute.ie had a €10 ‘when it’s gone it’s gone offer’. They run these sort of offers every once in a while. As you’d expect, demand was fierce… their servers couldn’t cope and it resulted in a slow, buggy connection for all.
Would i have bought a hotel even if i had of gotten a €10 offer? Possibly… i hadn’t decided – it depended on the hotel and dates. I then came across this thread on boards.ie – hearing people complaining about the lastminute.ie site.
Barry Hand from lastminute.com then posted this comment;
Barry from lastminute.com here.
Sorry to hear that some boardsies have had difficulty booking, we had huge interest in our €10 Hotel WIGIG (when it’s gone, it’s gone) this morning which sold out really really quickly. (less than 60mins)
Anyone who has had trouble booking, drop me a private message today (April 23rd) with your email address and I’ll get a €25 voucher over to you.
Sorry for any frustration, we sold hundreds of rooms, with tens of thousands of visitors scrambling to get this bargain.
After taking Barry up on his offer, i got my €25 voucher as promised 🙂 I have to spend €150 to avail of it, but still, it’s the thought that counts and due to Barry’s 1 on 1 approach and kind offer i am of course much more likely to recommend lastminute or blog about them or buy something through them… as it happens, i’m doing all three
I’m not sure how many people will use the €25 voucher, but i’m certainly glad of it. I’ll be using it for my London trip. It’s not like lastminute.com are rip-off merchants either, their prices are usually some of the cheapest around any time i compare hotels or offers.
So rather than get nothing from me, they’ll probably get at least €125, plus they’ve gotten a positive blog post and now that you’ve read this story you’re probably, even subconsciously, giving lastminute.com a few brownie points in your head 🙂
It’s clever on their part, it keeps people happy and it results in an all round win-win situation. This is why the likes of forums, twitter and general social networking is such a powerful tool for business – it helps the business get 1 on 1 with people and at the end of the day that’s what people want and like – to know and trust the person they buy from.
From a businesses point of view, all they have to do is keep an eye out for their name (by using google alerts) and simply respond to comments and add people as friends or contacts – it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Help people out, offer them incentives, listen to them, make them feel like they matter and bang – you get their business and if you don’t, you’ll get their respect and they’re more likely to recommend you to their friends or defend you if they hear negative comments…