When a Brand Says Goodbye


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Hailo - The Taxi App
“Hailo and Fare-Well”

Just two years ago the taxicab app service Hailo arrived in Chicago, yet already it has hit the road. According to news reports and an email sent out by the company, all of Hailo’s North American operations came to an end late in 2014.

I’m sorry to see Hailo go, and not just for these three reasons:

• Competition against the likes of Uber and Lyft is a good thing for consumers.
• Local governments create far too many hurdles for entrepreneurs and startups.
• As a startup founder myself, I hate to see any brand fail.

In the face of that failure…

What can we learn from Hailo and how can we apply to our own #CX thinking?

A lot, as it turns out, because…

Even at a company’s end, customer experience still matters and Hailo’s exit strategy demonstrated a good understanding of that important principle.

Instead of simply going dark in the middle of the night, Hailo proactively communicated through both media channels and direct messages to its network of current and past customers that it was ceasing operations this month.

Chicago Taxi in Rush HourThose communications addressed why the company is leaving the marketplace and what the departure means for Hailo customers.

Common questions about timing, credits and service areas were all answered, along with some not-so-common ones – such as the fate of stored credit card information and the issue of data security, critical details that often are forgotten by today’s app consumers, only to be remembered when a data breach occurs.

So, while Hailo may not have become a business success in Chicago, the company is still providing a valuable customer experience lesson by showing us how a brand should go about delivering a proper goodbye.

Brian Walker, CEO
Brian Walker is the Chief Executive Officer of AE Marketing Group and host of the award-winning Brand Lab Series™ Podcast with today’s most innovative brands, including Bosch, Deloitte, IBM, RXBAR®, Accenture, and P&G.Recognized by Inc., Forbes, Branding Magazine, Ad Age, The American Marketing Association. Modern Healthcare, and more, Brian helps executives build brands beyond traditional advertising to improve customer experience, product development, and revenue.


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