Sunday, November 25, 2007

Experiencing Customer Experience

I may be wrong here, but the only time I really know I'm experiencing customer experience is when something goes wrong. That something going wrong could be any part of the buying, or 'in life' experience. I wanted to tell a few stories of when something went wrong with me and my reactions to those experiences.


I bought tickets to Barcelona for Tech Ed from Easyjet, but made the mistake of booking the wrong week. I don't know why, my mind was elsewhere or something. Anyhoo, I noted that to change a flight there's a charge applied, fair enough I though. When I booked however, I was shown prices which I believed were the new price flights before my flight prices had been deducted. Only after I'd gone through the whole process had I realised that I'd been charged that extra. To me it had looked like I'd paid twice. I contacted Easyjet and over several increasingly frustrating exchanges I had not got any compensation. I had believed I had been charged twice, they didn't even listen to my point of view, and instead pointed me to their T&Cs. Bad customer experience.

I'd made the stupid mistake of getting carried away by a sale. All t-shirts for $10. At the time I was just about to move home, but instead of directing them somewhere sensible, like my parents, I got them delivered to my home that I was currently occupying. The package went missing in the post. When I contacted threadless they were suprisingly helpful. They asked me to wait two weeks just in case the package showed up. When they didn't, they offered a full refund! I took credit, as I wanted to order some more t-shirts and they gave me an additional $5 for my troubles! Even though I'd pretty much said I was most likely my fault! Good customer experience.

land of leather

When I'd moved into my new home, I was in need of a sofa/couch. As it happened I'd seen an ad for a sale in the land of leather. I went into the store and after a while, seen a cracking sofa. Paid for it and had it delivered the next week. Only it wouldn't fit through the door. Somehow this was my fault. I'd thought the sofa would come apart, surely this is a common problem, I mean I only life in a standard size house. That was the first problem, the second was that the delivery drivers expected to get paid. This pissed me off royally, why should I pay for a product I'd not received? They wouldn't even give a refund. Bad customer experience.

Round up

It's not all about the money, it's about the dialog. Land of leather and Easyjet refused to enter a dialog with me, which meant I didn't get what I wanted and damaged their brand in my eyes. entered a dialog with me and exceeded expections.


Nigel Pepper said...

I think you summarise this perfectly. It is about dialog. Setting expectation comes from that dialog. Just ask Doc!

David Naylor said...

Your point about 'not noticing customer service'is spot on. The best service is no [need for] service as Jeff Bezos the CEO of says. The thing that really shows how a company thinks is when you ask to speak to the Customer Service Manager and are told "He/She doesn't speak to customers". We deal with companies day in day out who try to do the clever marketing and CRM stuff but fail to get the basics right. We've been blogging the 'dumb things' that companies do to people for a long while. Take a look at