In an age of where businesses try to automate as much as possible and get the customer to ‘self-serve’, here’s an example where it failed for me over the weekend and can easily be improved as all it needs is better software to support the process.
The Company: Maplin Electronics. An electronics retail UK chain with an online shop presence.
The Outcome: Maplin lost a potential sale from me through because of their own operations.
I go online, find the product I want which is in stock. Yippee! I add 5 to my basket and choose to checkout. It’s a great price, <£1 each. On checking out, two options are provided, Home Delivery and Reserve & Collect. Home Delivery is greyed out. 🙁 I have no idea why so I enter my local postcode so I can reserve and collect at my local store. No joy, the computer says no, it tells me that its out of stock at all my local stores.
So I resort to calling up their customer services telephone number. After a short wait in their queue and after explaining the situation. Sorry, its been discontinued. There’s only 10 items left dotted around the country in stores, it will cost you £5 to get it delivered to your nearest store for collection.
- The online shop should inform me that the product is being discontinued (and from what date).
- If you can’t home deliver an item, it would wonderful to know why not.
- If when using Reserve & Collection option, none of the local stores have an item in stock, tell me which store holds the stock, if there’s any cost in shipping it to another (local) store, and allow this all to be ordered online.
Quick, Easy Wins
- Less of my time (that’s me, the customer) spent trying to buy something which should be a simple process.
- A scaleable automation win with ROI!!
- Saves you having to man the phones to answer these types of queries – expensive labour!
- Improved sale conversion rate. You increase the chances of getting a sale that you won’t have otherwise.