More and more of us are living longer and more active lives; and, many companies and marketers know that there is a lot of money to be made out of old people. Which is why they invest so much money in marketing to this age group.
But it is worth remembering that despite the property price boom in the UK over the last generation, combined with a massive increase in general income, not all older people are sitting on top of gigantic cash piles. It is something that companies dealing with older people almost exclusively should take note of.
A stairlift manufacturer, Dolphin Stairlifts, should certainly take note of this fact. The unscrupulous company has been criticized for charging one of their customers – pensioner Lydia Hindmarsh £100 just for coming out on a call to flip a switch on her stairlift.
An engineer from the company visited the home of Lydia Hindmarsh, who suffers from dementia and reverted the ‘on switch’. Needless to say, the family of Lydia are annoyed that the charge is so high.
When working and supplying products to older and often vulnerable people it is important that companies pay attention to these issues. No one likes the frustration of unexpected charges, but it can be particularly galling when someone vulnerable is stung with unnecessary charges from a company they thought they could trust. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
When reviewing stairlift companies then, always look for fairness, as well as their technical expertise. Synonymous with stairlifts is, of course, the name Stannah stairlift.
When it comes to how to treat elderly customers it appears as if the company knows how to interact with their target demographic. The Stannah price promise and the motto ‘always true to our word’ is something very few companies like to hold themselves open to being accountable for, which does leave you feeling as if they may be a company that you can trust.
When it comes to calling outs, they have a 24-hour call-out service operating 365 days a year; if you call up, you speak to someone in the UK who can answer your questions about call out charges upfront and in person.
But perhaps one of the best illustrations of how to achieve great customer and brand engagement is the fact that all of their on-call engineers take with them their own vacuum, for cleaning up the mess.
Engineers also take with them two pairs of shoes – one for indoors, one for outdoors. Now if you’ve ever visited a house proud elderly person in their home you’ll be able to see just how much of a difference little things such as this can make to your customer relationships – it’s a policy that any company looking to sell to older generations, now or in the future, could do well to follow: think of your customers as people, share their concerns, and, always remain accountable and true to your word. Dolphin should take note.