Everyone’s buying online, yet the actual shopping experience is not always as smooth as it should be. Buying goods on the high street is a nightmare but at least you get the goods at the price you expect.
I’ve encountered a few cases this year that have left me wondering whether online sellers are really as customer-focused and engaged as they should be:
Case one – You buy something from Amazon and you receive an email message telling you not to read the included email, in case the present is actually for you. Nice touch; people share email and they accidentally leave email open on a jointly shared computer. Except the email came addressed from Amazon’s Kindle Support Service – not difficult to guess what I’m getting, is it?
Case two – Go online and do a spot of late Xmas shopping. It’s remarkable how many UK-based retailers reckon they’ll still be able to fulfil those orders, despite 200 foot of snow across most of Britain. Some, such as John Lewis, pre-warn customers that they will be unable to deliver in time for the festive period. Disappointing, yes. Realistic and customer-engaged? Definitely – I guess that’s why people like John Lewis.
Case three – You purchase something from the other side of the world, in my case from the United States for the United Kingdom. The item is bought weeks in advance and you’re rewarded with a nice, early delivery. Just one problem; the present is waiting at the Post Office with a £15 customs surcharge that the seller neglected would be required for international postage. My fault? Maybe. Disappointing customer service? Definitely.
Xmas shopping on the web is convenient but do you think some online sellers have neglected the small elements that make good customer service great? Is shopping online all it’s cracked up to be or does the buyer still get a better deal on the high street? Do you have your own horror stories, and do you think CIOs and businesses could do more to engage the online customer?
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