There’s a Tiger coming to Melbourne, not a Richmond player  the airline. And it seems to have incumbent cheapie JetStar a little worried. So much so, that they just announced their ‘take a friend for $3’ deal

$3 deal - sounds good

But the experience of trying to book that ticket was so bad that I wanted to show it to you as a small case study in how the big boys so often get it wrong on their websites. Let’s look at how not to follow the clues every visitor gives you, completely ignore them & make buying from you as difficult as possible!

Remember that every visitor to your site is a human being  not just a click! We all know that if we treat our customers as the most important part of our businesses that we’ll win in the end.

So regardless of your marketing budget (more about that crazy phrase another day) let’s take a look at how the big corporates keep managing to lose customers. Even customers that are ready, willing, able & *wanting* to buy what they have for sale.

Let’s try to buy a ticket

I thought why not. I’ll surprise my girlfriend (until she reads this!) and book a trip up to Byron Bay for a weekend in July for my birthday. This part was easy, scroll down the page until I find the link for the trip I want. Obviously that’s what they want me to do… otherwise they wouldn’t go to the trouble of choosing from one of the 59 (yes I counted) links!

long list of flights

Great! almost there… I’ve picked my flight, I know the price. But wait! What’s this. Why In The Name Of All That’s Decent have they taken me to their normal booking screen

where did you want to go again?

ok! I guess I can enter in those places again… only take a few seconds.
Now I remember something about restricted dates from the headings on that long list… but I can’t remember them. That’s cool though, I’m sure they won’t let me book if it’s not allowed. So I pick the dates for my birthday weekend .. and get that horrible windows-knows-you-screwed-up noise & this wonderful message

you have screwed up

Hmmm, useful. Then it drops me back to the previous screen & off we go again.
So I change the date to an ‘allowed one’ and of course… because I’m no longer surprised by their stupidity… I get this:

yeah, no sorry!

So I leave & go to the ever-easy to use VirginBlue site & buy my trip from them.

Please listen to the clues that your visitors are giving you. And don’t forget information they’ve already told you (like a destination, or a country, or their name!)

Treat your visitors like human beings & you’ll win. And the good news is, even the smallest business can outsmart the big boys!