This article should come with a warning “Honest user experience within”.

If you don’t want to hear the truth about my digital experience with your brand, then don’t read any further.  I have an issue! One that I usually whine to my husband about but today I am sharing this with my wider audience. The issue does not just affect me. It impacts many other consumers and the businesses that are getting it wrong.

User experience on your digital channels is vital to creating sales and giving a positive impression of your brand. Over the past week I have been keeping track of the many digital experiences I have had, just like we all have every single day to share the good, the bad and the very bad.

These are real examples that share how what you are doing on your digital channels has a direct impact on your results.  So what does a week in the life of this digital consumer look like? So many businesses (large & small) do not understand their customer journey and as such are losing sales every single day and this is why…..

DAY 1

McDonalds: I bought McDonalds for lunch and not only did I get home to find the wrong burger and half empty fries but then couldn’t find the local stores Facebook page so send a tweet (in fact sent several) and got no response at all. TIP: DON’T BE ON TWITTER IF YOU DON’T RESPOND.

Ancestry.com: I wanted to order a DNA Kit and found the process very easy on their website. I didn’t finalise the order as I got distracted. The next day I got a reminder that I had an item in my shopping cart which prompted me to finalise the order. GOOD TIMING AND NICELY WORDED REMINDER PROMPTED ME TO BUY – WELL DONE

DAY 2

Lite & Easy: I noticed a Lite & Easy ad on TV and thought I would give it a go. I jumped onto their website and couldn’t figure out where or how to order. I got frustrated, mentioned it on Facebook to my friends who suggested trying You Foodz. I also sent Lite & Easy a Facebook message and the response was very poor. TIP: WASTED AD $$ IF YOUR WEBSITE DOESN’T REFLECT YOUR MESSAGING AND MAKE IT EASY TO ORDER.

You Foodz: I got onto the YouFoodz site and ordered some fabulous meals in minutes. They made it easy and answered all my questions on their website – got it right and I will order again. TIP: MAKING IT EASY TO BUY WINS MORE BUSINESS. THESE GUYS HAVE IT RIGHT.

DAY 3

Petbarn: We were out running errands and I wanted to know if they were open. I searched them on my iphone and tried click to call from their website which didn’t work. Plus the phone number was wrong so couldn’t get in touch with them. TIP: PEOPLE ARE BUYING FROM YOUR MOBILE CHANNELS SO MAKE SURE YOUR LINKS WORK.

MavSocial: I was setting up this new social scheduling tool and had a few set up issues. I emailed them and didn’t get a response for 2 days so emailed again. Then I got a call from their CEO apologising and walking me through the issue. Was so impressed that the CEO took time out to call and address the issue. TIP: YOU CAN TURN A FRUSTRATED NEW CUSTOMER INTO A FAN WITH ONE CALL.

DAY 4

Telstra: I have constant issues with getting local help from Telstra. Biggest pet peeve is when I tweet them and get generic responses that send me to a link unrelated to what my issue is. TIP: TRAIN YOUR SOCIAL TEAM ON LISTENING SKILLS AND DIRECT PEOPLE TO THE RIGHT PAGES.

Darling & Co: Local Brisbane restaurant that I was making an online booking for a business lunch. I made a mistake so emailed them and had a call back within 2 hours. TIP: CUSTOMER SERVICE EXTENDS ACROSS BOTH TRADITIONAL & DIGITAL CHANNELS.

DAY 5

Ashy Bines: One of the worst experiences I ever had with a fitness brand. I saw a Facebook ad which prompted me to go to their website and get some more details. I had a number of questions before I signed up so emailed them. Still had no response after 3 days so emailed again. No response so sent a Facebook message and was told they will respond within 4 days. I managed to get hold of someone and was told that if I email again within the initial 4 days my query goes to the back of the queue.  TIP: 4 DAY RESPONSES TIMES ARE RIDICULOUS. IF YOU ARE SPENDING MONEY ON FACEBOOK ADS, RESPOND TO QUERIES IN A TIMELY MANNER. P.S AND DON’T CALL YOUR CUSTOMERS BABE OR HONEY WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW THEM.

Missing Lett_R – I signed up to a new blog scheduling platform and as part of the welcome process got a call from the CEO in the UK. TIP: GETTING A CALL FROM A CEO CARRIES A LOT OF WEIGHT AND IS GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR BRAND.

DAY 6

Booktopia: I order an ebook on my laptop then downloaded the app to my iphone to read it. Experience across both devices was positive. TIP: WE LIVE IN A MULTISCREEN WORLD SO ENSURE YOU MAKE THE MULTI SCREEN EXPERIENCE SEEMLESS.

Microsoft: I was having issues on my laptop since downloading Windows 10 and tried to schedule a call from their website however it kept saying my phone number was invalid. Had to get onto Live Chat and they told me I had to schedule the call on the website (which it wouldn’t let me do). Again instead of using common sense, they just wanted to read from their script and didn’t understand it was a technical issue on their end. TIP: TEACH YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAMS TO USE COMMON SENSE AND TAKE INITIAVE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS. AND GET TECHNICAL ISSUES FIXED QUICKLY.

Hootsuite: I got an EDM about a free upgrade to my account. After clicking on the links, it didn’t work as they suggested it should so emailed them. Then was sent incorrect details on how to upgrade with a promotional code TIP: TEST YOUR EDM LINKS & INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE SENDING.

DAY 7

Brisbane City Library: By far the worst experience of the week. I downloaded an ebook from the library on my laptop. The download would not open as it was an odd format and there were no instructions on their website telling me what the process was , what app I needed to read the ebook or where to get it. I called the library and they told me I then needed to go to the library website on my smartphone and go to the ebooks section, download the app from there. I found two apps that supposedly would let me read the book and guess what – still no ebook anywhere to be found. Most ridiculous & frustrating process ever! TIP: WHEN YOU INTRODUCE NEW TECHNOLOGY EDUCATE YOUR AUDIENCE BY PROVIDING DETAILED INFORMATION AND MAKING SURE YOUR STAFF KNOW HOW TO USE IT.

Popcherry: I saw a Facebook ad that had one top in 4 colours. I jumped onto their website to find it but it wasn’t available in all 4 colours so I was far from impressed. TIP: DON’T USE IMAGES OF PRODUCTS YOU DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE IT, PARTICULARLY WITH FASHION.

Cineplex – I was getting movie times and saw an advert for new Deluxe cinema on their website but couldn’t click on the ad to get any details TIP: LINK YOUR ADS TO THE URL THAT GIVES CUSTOMERS THE INFORMATION YOU TALK ABOUT IN YOUR AD.

Pacific Fair – They have been promoting the new centre so we decided to check it out only to discover half the new designer stores were not open at all. Simply putting Coming Soon next to their names on their website would’ve totally changed our experience to a positive one. TIP: MANAGE CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS AND ENSURE YOUR WEBSITE INFORMATION IS UP TO DATE AND CORRECT.

The purpose of this blog is to highlight how the simplest things when missed, result in lost sales & bad customer experiences with your brand. Digital is an experience you take with you from screen to screen.  Seriously look at your user experience and the path to purchase and consider are you making it easy and does it flow like it should. Put yourself in your customers shoes and look at it with fresh eyes. Stop spending thousands of dollars on advertising until you get these basics right. (otherwise you are just wasting them). Your marketing efforts should start with your customer so make it easy from them to buy from you.

 

 

 

 

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Digital customer service – do you pass or fail?

Often a digital channel will be the first interaction with a potential customer so it is vital that you give a great first impression.

Most of your digital enquiries will come via email and social media so regular monitoring of these channels is the first step in digital customer services and should form part of your sales process. You need to set up systems and processes to make the customer experience one that is enjoyable and fits with your brand’s personality. Start with these steps:

  1. When you get an email enquiry, DO NOT just answer an email with only what someone asks. Take it the next step and give them additional information. Plus don’t send a form or automated response. (automation is OK as a first email but it needs to be clear they will you will be giving a personal response to their enquiry). Go above and beyond and really listen to what the customer is asking. Ask more questions if you need to in order to answer. And whatever you do, do not call someone Babe or Honey (yes has happened to me with the company in question not understanding their audience at all)
  2. Reply quickly. Sending an automated reply that says you’ll respond in 3-4 days is NEVER EVER acceptable and just bad service (something I recently experienced with a well known fitness company) We want information fast, because we can and should get it quickly now so taking days to respond is a sure way to lose this customer for life.
  3. Don’t ask them to contact you on another channel. The reason they are contacting you on email for example is because 1.they are comfortable with it or 2. You haven’t responded on another channel (such as Twitter or Facebook).
  4. Consider the overall customer journey. Put yourself in their shoes. Would the journey from query to purchase make you comfortable? What would you want? What would make you a raving fan? What is the wow?
  5. Don’t send a copy & pasted form response. Unless you want to lose the customer forever. LISTEN and PERSONALISE your response. I see this constantly with large companies that think a form response is OK when it is not (hear that Telstra)

digital customer service

Remember that when a prospect is sending you an enquiry email they are ready to buy. These digital enquiries should take priority and you will see a return if you think of them as customers walking through your door, not annoying emails.

Digital is 24/7 and being able to do business in a global economy is amazing if you understand that simply being responsive from Mon-Fri 9 to 5 is no longer acceptable. You need to commit to monitoring all your channels outside of hours?

Digital customer service is particularly important in the lead up to Christmas as online shopping continues to increase. By not responding you handing sales to your competitors on a platter, literally!! As a consumer if someone doesn’t respond, I go to their competitor and buy from them within 24 hours. And not only have you lost the sale, you have pissed me off to the point of not wanting to do business with you in the future.  I’ve had companies contact me 3 weeks (and one took 2 months) after I had sent an email enquiry and were surprised by my response.  C’mon get with the program.

I see companies spending thousands of dollars on advertising then committing the cardinal sin of not replying to their sales enquiries that come via digital channels. Crazy!!

This is a no cost tactic that will increase your sales & conversions. Do it and stop making excuses!!

How answering your email can increase your sales

One thing that always baffles me us why businesses spend thousands of dollars on advertising then can’t even answer a customer enquiry via email. Why, why, why??

This makes absolutely NO sense. These are the businesses that complain that their ad campaigns didn’t work when it actual fact the received leads and traffic that the business didn’t convert because they didn’t do the simplest thing and answer the customer enquiry.

Digital advertising Rule 101 – answer customer queries. If someone is taking the time to email you they are genuinely interested in buying your product. Answer them!! Promptly!!

email-marketing

This one simple thing can add thousands of dollars in sales to your bottom line each year. It baffles me why so many businesses ignore email queries. Someone please explain it to me? If someone walked into your store and asked about a product would you ignore them? I don’t think so. So why do you treat them differently online?

I experience this every single day and it baffles me constantly.  And guess what, when someone doesn’t respond I wipe them forever and buy from the competitor. So you’ve not just lost this sale but future sales as well. Pretty damn stupid marketing tactic if you ask me.

Don’t be dumb. Respond to your emails and watch your sales increase.