Every year our Volunteer Fire Department hosts a 4th of July Picnic in our tiny little town complete with a parade, barbecue, burgers and dogs, kid’s games, silent auction, music and of course a big fireworks display. This year I was in charge of the kid’s activities. I don’t have kids, but I know what kids like – a bouncy house. And since our event is on the giant Town Hall lawn it’s a perfect spot to get your bounce on.
I put “Bouncy House Rentals” in the Google machine and to my surprise found there are several in the Albuquerque area. Who knew? I clicked on the first one listed, the page took too long to load and when it finally did a form popped up that said email us or call us today to get a quote. Pass. So I clicked on the second site listed. Loco Jumps. The page loaded right away.
The banner was a kid smiling and this promise: “Our Jumps are Always Clean and Sanitized.” Again, not having kids this isn’t something I was even thinking about but now that I read it, heck yes I want a clean and sanitized bouncy house.
The only other copy on the main page was this:
We provide the best rentals, we’re always on time, and always professional. So if your looking for the best jumpers possible in New Mexico, reserve them below or call anytime to speak with us in person at (505) 792-6620.
You could order by date (and then see what is available on that date) or by category. Since I was renting on the 4th of July (super busy day I assumed) I went for the date. This took me to an order screen where I could plug in my start and stop time (I assume I was renting by the hour) There were quite a few houses left but Beagle Bouncer caught my eye. Here’s his description:
Cool 3D design and it has a flatter bouncing surface for more jumping fun! Also known as the Cutest Jumper there is.
I had to have it. And all I had to do was “Add it to my cart.” Just like ordering something on amazon.com I entered my payment information, billing address, and address where it was to be delivered. I got a nice confirmation and receipt immediately emailed to me and I was done. This took me about 3 minutes. The following day I got a call from Martin (pronounced Mar-teen) to confirm our location. He actually couldn’t find it on GPS because well, we aren’t on all maps. So I gave him directions. The day before the event I called (per the contract) to confirm the time of delivery and set up. I got a person right away and she had notes in my file that I had already spoken with Martin and we were good to go.
Martin was scheduled to deliver at 10am. At 9:30am I got a call and he was just pulling into town! He was a very nice young man (aka cute) and nicely dressed, the van was very clean. I had a spot on the lawn in mind for Beagle Bouncer and he recommended another area because it would provide more shade. He was right. Martin is a bouncy house professional. It was up in no time and we were good to go. It was indeed the cutest bouncy house on the planet and the kids LOVED it. At 6:45pm Martin’s van pulled into the parking lot for the 7:00pm dismantle. He assured me he would not take it down one minute sooner as the kids were still enjoying it. Side bar here – I hadn’t thought about the fact that I would have to kick kids out, so I asked some volunteers to quickly fill some latex gloves with water and direct the kids to a bizarre “water balloon toss” which turned out to be loads of fun because these gloves are designed to protect us, so they won’t break! Anyway, I was pretty proud of the distraction because Martin was behind us “putting the dog down” so to speak and not a single kid noticed. As he was loading up the van he turned to me and said “You know, you have such a nice big lawn and it’s usually so hot on the 4th you should consider one of our water slides next year.” Martin cross-sold another product! You better believe we’re going for the Big Wave 18’ Water Slide next year.
The next morning I received an email from Loco Jumps thanking me for my business and asking if I will please complete their short survey. I was so impressed with their service, their website, their clean bouncy house I was going to make a point of recommending them on Yelp! anyway.
Here’s what I loved about their survey. They asked about the appearance of the driver. Now I know that doesn’t mean they hire hot guys and want to make sure I noticed, but it does mean that they are aware that their drivers are a big part of the experience and they strive to have a professional looking staff. They are the “front line” so to speak.
Recently a new credit union marketer asked me if I would take a look at their website and critique it. It was your typical credit union website. Shiny happy indistinct people on almost every page. No real call to action. A laundry list of products and services with too much copy. No differentiator or obvious brand promise. In a word, benign.
Here’s what we can learn from Loco Jumps bouncy house experience:
- Your website must be easy to find and your home page has to load quickly. This is your first impression. I should be able to see quickly what you are all about.
- Have a clear differentiator and a compelling photo to draw me in – no shiny happy people! Why should I do business with you? What’s your brand promise?
- When describing your products try and keep it to one sentence. I probably won’t read more than that anyway. Why not make it fun? For example: We have free checking, like everyone else but our mobile app will make you smile because it’s so pretty.
- Make it EASY to buy your product. Can I open an account on your site? Can I apply for and get approved for a loan? If not, why not?
- Over deliver on your promises. This cannot be stressed enough. This is what really wowed me about Loco Jumps. I really did not expect they would be on time, in fact, that’s why I called the day before even though I had already spoke with Martin. I had advertised that we would have a bouncy house and my biggest fear was a Beagle no-show.
Last week I secret shopped a credit union client. They were running a VISA balance transfer promotion so I called their call center to get me one. I heard the same “Please listen carefully as our menu items have changed, and your call me be recorded to ensure you made the mistake, not us,” and then a series of ads as I waited on hold for 5 minutes and 13 seconds. When Ryan finally came on the line I asked one simple question, “How long does it take to get this VISA and transfer my balance from a much higher interest rate bank credit card?” Poor guy, he did the best with what he had, but bottom line I was lucky to have it done in 3 weeks.
I know we’re not just renting bouncy houses. If only our life was so easy – but we aren’t sending people to the moon either. I’m amazed how similar credit union websites look, how little business can be transacted on the site and how difficult we continue to make it to “sell our stuff.” What if it was as easy as renting the Beagle Bouncer? And it begs the question, “Why can’t it be?”