Home > Random Rants > Why is it so hard to buy from some companies?

Why is it so hard to buy from some companies?

I understand that you need to have a set of processes to enable your company to run, and some of these will be around ordering, pick, pack, despatch and customer enquiries. This is a particular area of my own expertise, but why do you inflict this stuff on the customer?
Buying on line shows up the worst of this for me. Some examples:
• Crude product search engines that give you almost the entire inventory regardless of what you ask for.
• Page links that don’t work.
• Where you view the product, select a quantity to buy, get through a convoluted checkout process and only then get told that it is out of stock.
• Convoluted checkout process.
• Contact Us links that don’t work.
• Drop down lists in the Contact Us section that never seem to cover the query type that I have.
• Comment boxes that only allow too few characters for your query
Some company web sites are great; Amazon for example, but others are dreadful. Amazon relieve me of a lot of my disposable cash because they make it easy for me to spend with them and the overall customer experience is great.
On the other hand there are at least two or three companies a month that fail to extract funds from me because I can’t be bothered to go through all the hassle. Do people at these companies ever consider the customer experience? Do they ever try to buy from themselves? Somehow I doubt it.
And it isn’t just web sites. A lot of face to face experiences are no better. Two big gripes here; firstly the assistant who has to finish talking to their colleague when you’ve obviously arrived, and are waiting, to ask a question, and those places where you can’t enjoy looking without assistant after assistant walking up and asking if you need help.
Come on people. Things may be tight but there is money out there to be spent. Make it easy for folks to spend it with you.

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  1. August 14, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Quite agree!

    Ever tried ordering print online? I was consulting with a web-to-print company recently who was developing an online approach for ordering personalised greeting cards. Their process was *so* labourious for the sole reason that what was put online was an on demand print application built upon a printer’s perspective of the ordering process and not their customers’.

    Once the buyer had chosen their card design, personalised the messages to the front and inside they were then asked which weight and grade of paper the card should be printed on, then the application asked the buyer what size the card needed to be. Who cares? Do you get faced with these buying decisions in a card shop? Of course not!

    What the buyer wants to do is, in the sending a card, to be remembered to the recipient and make them smile; card substance, calliper, finish or size really don’t come into it. Yes it’s a factor of production for the printer but these were production choices that the printer needed to have been making for the buyer so that they can buy more quickly and simply.

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