Welcome to Wellington

As customers we are more marketing savvy than we have ever been……

The Positively Wellington marketing campaign has been one of the country’s most successful in terms of branding. But does reality match the promises?

Not if my recent experiences are anything to go by.

I flew to Wellington from Christchurch for a series of important business meetings. It was pouring. I didn’t think it unreasonable that the hire car company would deliver the car to the door. But no. I was sent out into a howling southerly, rain sheeting down, to locate my rental – which seemed to be parked as far from the terminal as possible. Customer focused? Yeah right.

As a result, how positive did you think I was feeling about Wellington (all those marketing dollars down the drain)? World class, I think not. Welcome to Wellington.

But the nightmare didn’t stop there. Time for a quick breakfast at one of the airport’s cafes. Cold bacon and scrambled eggs, a very ordinary cup of coffee and the opportunity to interact with one of the most sour-faced front counter people I have encountered for some time. Welcome to Positively Wellington.

Word of mouth can be a powerful promotional tool, but it can also have the opposite effect. Your customers are talking about you, but what are they saying?

Wake up New Zealand businesses, especially those with the responsibility of delivering on the marketing promise. The visitor industry is in for a tough 12-18 months and in three years Wellington will be hosting two quarter final World Cup matches. It’s time to stop paying lip service to some of these inspirational marketing statements and start walking the talk.

If I can have two unacceptable customer experiences within 30 minutes of my arrival in the capital, and I have only travelled 45 minutes from Christchurch, what on earth are our international visitors receiving after 30 hours of travel? Presumably not much different.

Martin Snedden, CEO of Rugby NZ 2011 Ltd and his team, have two major goals. One is to stage a successful Rugby World Cup; the other is to raise the bar across the visitor industry as a result of the focus on this important event.

So, my challenge to the industry is – let’s get right behind the Rugby NZ 2011 team and play our part in developing a customer experience that doesn’t result in my recent Wellington experiences, but delivers on both the industry’s goals.

Customer Experiences Media and Public Relations


Chris Bell is managing director of Customer Experiences; a company that specialises in helping businesses improve the way in which they interact with customers and clients. Click here to contact us.

One thought on “Welcome to Wellington

  1. This proves the point that if you are going to put yourself out there as Wellington has, everyone in business in the city needs to be in on it and believe in it.

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