Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Online purchase experiences still suck most of the time

Why do I keep finding purchase experiences online that are completely flawed?

When something goes wrong online or once you receive a purchase offline you can rarely recover the problem without going into the offline world and therefore ending up in a store or on the phone. The person you end up speaking to usually makes some reference to the 'internet people' being rubbish and how they will try to help but it will probably be a complete nightmare as they are not really part of that bit of the company.

This is unacceptable. I'm not talking about the need for multi-channel services here, I'm talking about the basics of offering the service online in the first place (aren't I?).

Some pointers:

1. Allow for things to go wrong and offer ways of making them right - online.
2. If it can't happen online (for whatever made up technical reason) make sure you provide the customer with information on how they can resolve the problem offline.
3. Make sure the people offline are prepared and able to help people with their online related purchase problems. And that they apologise for the inadequacies of the online service whilst explaining how this will be reported back to the 'internet people' to help them improve things.

As a company you need to trap these moments and experiences and understand them, it will help to build your case for making them better and allow you to make sure they are factored into your E-Channel teams responsibilities. They are, after all, part of the customer experiences of buying online.

Enough said.

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