I was shopping on the Internet recently at a major online retailer and was dumbfounded to find the assumptions they were making on behalf of their customers.
I had no problems finding the items I needed. I also had no problems adding them to my cart or for that matter. In fact, I liked the way the site was working up to the point of the checkout process.
However, it was there (one of the most critical elements of the purchase process) that I ran into problems.
Problems that should not exist in any e-commerce website. Problems that were present because the company was thinking from the seller’s perspective when it should be thinking from the buyers perspective.
It can be wrapped up into something called the customer experience and their approach was no doubt causing some unhappy and confused customers — myself included.
Say Goodbye to Experience
I have been working on the Internet for over 12 years now and currently spend most of my waking time doing so. I analyze and work with e-commerce sites daily to help them cultivate ways to increase conversion. I’ve built numerous shopping carts, personally written thousands of programs, and worked with many others. Moving through sites has become second nature.
Yet, even with that experience, I found myself completely frustrated and lost during their checkout — specifically with regard to how they handle gift cards.
In fact, I actually called a support number (one more reason why I say you should always include a very visible customer service number on your website) to find out how to complete the checkout!
Now, I am probably one of the few that actually does this (calls customer service when I could simply leave the site and go to my local brick and mortar store). I only did it because I just had to find out why they were doing what they were doing, and clear myself of the thought that I suddenly “forgot” how to shop on the internet.
The Mysterious Gift Card
The sticking point during checkout was a gift card that was purchased at one of the brick and mortar stores for the chain. It could be used online or on the Internet.
[Read more…] about Gift Cards That Cause Unhappy Customers