Shep Hyken,CSP recently wrote in a Forbes article stating that businesses are losing $62 billion per year due to poor customer service according to research reported by New Voice Media.
One of the contributing reasons cite for this loss is that businesses do not providecustomer with easybuying experience.
According to the article customers want a,“no hassle, no friction buying experience.”
The buying experience comes in many forms and deals with how the company or its employees interact with the customer by phone, email and in person.
Recently I received in my inbox a notice of a product sale by a major retailer that is struggling to regain market share.
This advertisement came just at the right time I was thinking about an item I planned to purchase within the next month. I clicked on the advertisement and found the item was on sale.
I made my selection went to the shopping cart and noticed I had two options. Option one was to order online and pay the shipping charges. Option two was to pick up the item at the store and save the shipping charges.
As I pondered my choices I remember two months ago my last experience shopping at that retailers store in the mall. There was little customer service although they did have a good selection of the item I was looking for.
I selected my item and went to look for the checkout counter. To my surprise things had changed since I last visited the store 6 to 9 months ago. Now instead of having checkout counters throughout the store the checkout countershad been condensed into one location.
As I surveyed long slow molasses like moving line leading to the checkout counter I thought,” I think I will take out my phone and order this item online after all I know exactly what I need I am standing here with it in my hand.” Then I decided I’ve already invested the time to drive to the store find what I needed and stand in line. Even though my need for this item was not urgent, I did have it in hand and purchasing would remove one thing from my to-do list.
At that point I promised myself I would only shop with that retailer online.
Getting back to my online purchase I chose to make my purchase and save the shipping charge by picking it up at the store. After all, the stores only about a mile from my home and I pass by it almost daily.
After placing my order I promptly received an auto responder reply thanking me for my order and letting me know that I would receive further information regarding when I can pick up my purchase.Very nice!
The next day I received a notice giving me the shipping information and tracking code so I can keep track of my purchase. Very nice!
The next day I received a notice informing me my order had been canceled. No explanation only the perfunctory “we apologize for any inconvenience.”
What was missing from this notice from a customer’s point of view?
- No explanation.
- No link back to the website so I could easily replace my order.
- No offer to let me know when the item was again available. I’m making an assumption here; I’m assuming the order was canceled since it was out of stock or not availablethat store.
- No offer to let me know of other store locations where the product was available.
This retailer has five stores within a 30 minute drive from my location.
Did this retailer make it easy and hassle-free for me to purchase items online or in the store? No!
The retailer’s poor communication caused me to look elsewhere to purchase the item.
This morning as I’m thinking about this article I again found an offer in my inbox from the same retailer promoting a significant discount on items.
You may have already guessed my choice. Delete!
My message to both large and small businesses is to remember the customer experience goes beyond how you answer the phone, how you treat the customer when they walk into your place of business, and how you treat them before and after the sale. It also extends to how you communicate with your customer when you are unable to fulfill their order.
Is you company easy and hassle free to do business with?
For a review of your company’s communication process send email to:
Gary @ Gary McKinsey.com In the subject line write communication review.