(c) James Melendez 2017
Omnichannel just means offerings on all commerce channel offerings–it doesn’t mean they play or work well together. Wait didn’t we say this in 1999? Why are these feelings still evident in 2017? That is because many brands haven’t dealt with the customer experience at all…..
Some brands have done exceptionally well with their customer base and that is because they are customer centric. Many brands are just glad they offer their products and services online and in person but don’t reach beyond that.
I buy online for two primary reasons:
1) I have such limited time to shop in person
2) Frequent flyer miles I get from all of the carrier’s programmes I participant in
Buying online for me is about benefitting me in many ways. I learned early on that my clothing size is hard to find in my home base of San Francisco but plentiful online.
And my passion is to travel not because I have to but because I want to. All US carriers have some reward for buying from retailers online. Why not gather more points from my everyday shopping needs?
BUT there are problems that I experience with my online purchases often and they centre on two buckets:
- Not all brands have a friendly return policies–might you expect to return what you got online with a paid shipping label? And especially if you paid for shipping in the first place? A particular kitchen retailer was not very helpful for me to return the item I wanted to return. I did note this in a call to the customer service group but the person I spoke could have offered a shipping label and I would have been happy with that–instead just quoting a pre-written piece that “they couldn’t.” For me this left a permanent imprint and I won’t buy from this particular retailer again
- When a retailer has physical stores I might want to exchange what I have for a different size in person. I bought from a West Coast clothing retailer and I was careful to replace a pair of pants that I had purchased before. I figured I could just order that same size again, however, the fitting was not right. I went to store trying a pair on for the correct fitting. The sales associate said “I’ll have to return that to the card you purchased on and charge you again.” And I told the sales associate it is the same model number but just a different size. When you return something especially on an airline retailer shopping site (as an example Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping) those frequent flyer miles are deducted. I explained the reason I just wanted to do an even exchange because that is what I was doing and I would be penalized with a deduction in frequently flyer miles. This sales associate said “okay–I’ll return as if you are returning with no receipt.” But that for me was not a satisfactory approach.
In these examples the following improvements should be made by these retailers which are not truly Optichannel retailers.
7 Points for Customer Satisfaction
- Shipping costs needs to be transparent (both for purchasing and returning)
- Returning policies are on purchase page and information is simple and easily understood
- Making returns/exchanges simplified and quick
- What are implications of customer returns either in person or via post/parcel delivery – what does this mean for customer in the beneficial programs they enjoy?
- Looking at experience from customer point-of-view for optimizing their experience and satisfaction
- One bad customer experience may remove a very good customer from your base–what can you do to keep your customer? And especially if a customer is calling the 800 number to complain
- By truly looking at your customer’s experience might inform laggards in your brands business and even solutions to give uplift to parts of your business needing it
Helping optimize customer experience is especially important today and to borrow for a cliche–it is needed more today than ever. Customer don’t just fall out of the sky but are truly a limited resource for any brand and company. Competition has been robust and we will continue to living in a very competitive world.
James the Wine Guy
Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.
© 2017 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine GuyJames the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.
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