“Awkward” money moments avoided: Tenth Yale Customer Insights Conference 2015

YaleCIC2015-StratoServeThe Tenth Yale Customer Insights Conference 2015 (#YaleInsights15) continued to excel and evolve by connecting thought leaders in marketing practice and academia. And it is a lot of connecting to do as technology innovations allow digital marketing and consumer behavior to change faster than ever before.

A big idea that came up at the conference was about “Awkward” money moments.

What are Awkward Money Moments?  These are moments that are embarrassing and relate to money and a list appears at Life-Hacker. These include a declined credit card in a social setting, being asked to contribute equally at a dinner where you did not drink all that expensive wine and our favorite about bill and tipping awkwardness during service encounters. Before the recession it was taboo in America to talk about awkward money moments, but now people have become more frank in discussing the topic. Generally in collective societies (e.g. Asia) you are expected to play along on social cues. Thus, if you are on a first date  and you decline drinks and ask for water, the waiter puts you on the spot by offering plain tap water(free) , bottled water (expensive) and premium sparkling branded water like Perrier(very expensive). You cannot start looking at either the menu for prices or at your date or at the waiter….an awkward moment indeed.

Social Sharing and Mobile: Mobile has simply taken off with more searches coming from mobile and there were several presentations on this tectonic shift. But it was the Guided Discussion between Richelle Parham (former CMO,EBay), Bob Adams ( Senior Director Visa) and Beth Storz (discussion moderator and President Ideas to go) that got us to the “Awkward money” moment of the conference.

The discussants talked about how Uber and Airbnb remove the awkward money moment in the taxi and hotel transactions. For example, even taxes come as a surprise in hotel bills and the customer feels awkward raising the issue since you are automatically checked out and find the bill under your door on checkout day.Most hotels will not tell you the taxes at booking time. Pre-paying Airbnb is delightful as the awkwardness goes away.

On Uber,you have a good idea of what you’ll pay for a car trip and when Uber’s algorithm charges you more for rush hour etc. the awkwardness of dealing with the driver is removed. You can always call Uber to complain vigorously.Controlling bad behavior by customers, Uber drivers can rate passengers. So as a passenger,if you are late,mean etc. and have a poor rating – the next Uber driver will be cautious in accepting your call. Another awkward encounter avoided from the Uber driver’s point of view!

As the mobile economy evolves we can be sure that many more awkward moment avoiders will become popular.

There is much more to report from the tenth anniversary of the Yale Consumer Insights Conference 2015 and more in later posts.About StratoServe Digital Marketing Services.


%d bloggers like this: