Archive for category: Customer Experience

What a Great Customer Experience Can Look Like

10 Aug
August 10, 2014

A quick post to highlight a fantastic customer experience I had last week.

I tweeted Ann Handley from Marketing Profs to ask if her new book Everybody Writes will be available in Australia at the same time as the US. Sure, I could just buy on Kindle, or order from Amazon, but I sometimes prefer a hard copy and like to support local where I can.

I really enjoyed Content Rules, Ann’s last book, so am naturally keen to read this one.

I could explain the rest of the exchange, but I’ll let Twitter do that:

This to me is a perfect customer experience – a referral from a trusted source, the surprise and delight of a price offer, quick resolution of a small issue and ultimately a sale.

All handled via Twitter. I pay about what I would pay from Amazon, and a local business has a new customer.

Couldn’t have been more straightforward.

What are the lessons here?

  • Always be listening for opportunities
  • Where possible, do something unexpected that the customer will love
  • Always be willing to follow up

UPDATE – Ann’s book is now released, here’s a post from her blog with some links to great excerpts and interviews she has done in support of the release.

PHOTO – Mark JP via Flickr

The Taxi Industry Is Being Disrupted – But Are They Helping Themselves?

16 Jun
June 16, 2014

I read a whole lot of coverage last week of the protests by cab drivers in Europe over the launch of Uber in their respective markets, and the threat to the livelihood of the established industry.

It got me thinking – these guys are facing an upstart that is derailing a decades old business by doing it better and making it easier, but aside from protesting about it, are they doing enough to improve themselves?

Despite their recent Sydney launch, my only experience with Uber so far was in San Francisco about a month ago. The doorman at the hotel hailed a cab for three of us, and the driver steadfastly refused (not even winding down a window to say no, just a shake of the head) to move his bag from the front seat or even unlock the passenger door of the car to accommodate all of us. So two of us piled out of the backseat of the cab, and grabbed an Uber car to our meeting in the space of minutes.

Until now there’s been little choice – you grab the next cab, maybe vent on Twitter, and then move on. Now, with more choices in response to poor customer experience and service, an industry finds itself threatened, and things like this highlight the shortcomings of why.

The industry needs to accept the fact that Uber, with a valuation of $18 billion already, isn’t going anywhere in a hurry, and get on with working out how to make their own business competitive again through improving customer experience

Personally, I can’t wait to try it in Sydney. If I think back to the last three times I have caught a taxi, one asked me to guide him to my destination, another took a “shortcut” that ended up costing me more, and one ear bashed me with his colourful views on politics. With a strike rate like that, why wouldn’t I want to try something better for less?

PHOTO – David Holt via Flickr

Why Optus’ Campaign About Lower Roaming Charges Hits The Mark

16 Dec
December 16, 2013

I always like to highlight clever business and customer relationship stories, and I thought this latest offering from Optus was very well executed.

Providing value to customers is the biggest imperatives on business these days, so for customers who use their phones internationally, some action on global roaming rates is a welcome relief.

The message itself could have easily been delivered in an SMS alert of a letter – both of which will have no doubt been thrown out or deleted pretty quickly.

But Optus have decided to go one step further and add some more value on top of it, delivering inside the unbranded packaging an all country travel power adaptor, one of this truly essential items that you always seem to have to remember to buy at the airport.

Perhaps most importantly, and ensuring its relevance, is that it was targeted. My wife had travelled internationally a number of time recently, and is also a business customers, so it makes sense that she would get it. I haven’t been overseas for a while, so didn’t receive it. And given that fact, it would probably be wasted on me in any case.

On a scale they would have sourced them on, this would have been a reasonably costly exercise. But for the customer, it’s a branded piece of utility that will remind you of that time they lowered your roaming rates.

It’s a very smart piece of relationship building.

Geo-Blocked Video? It’s Probably Your Fault…

13 Aug
August 13, 2013

There are two things that I find frustrating when it comes to online video – device availability, and geo blocking of content.

With all of the video platforms now available and the goes-without-saying proliferation of mobile devices, there is no excuse for video content not being able to be delivered to a phone.

Yet this is what I get from the Huffington Post (don’t judge me for the story…).IMG_7856

But what probably frustrates me more is when my device can deliver the content, but the provider cannot. There are multiple ways to get the content you want to view. We now live in a borderless world, it’s time for content providers to get their act together providing a global viewing experience if they are so conceded

But until they do, at least they can have a sense of humour about it.

I was reading another of my favourite blogs and there was a video in the post from the Stephen Colbert’s recent Daft Punk piece.

I clicked on it, and got this message:

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.32.44 PM

Annoyed? Sure.

Amused? Yes.

It’s a small thing, but small things can sometimes take the edge off a bad customer experience.

The only problem here – once I got to the Comedy Channel site, I couldn’t find what I wanted. That monarchy ruins everything.

But that’s why there’s YouTube…


PHOTO – lukasbenc

Can We Get Rid of CAPTCHA? Please?

11 Jul
July 11, 2012

Own up – who really likes CAPTCHA?

They’re impossible to read half the time, they hold up sign up processes and I can only imagine how many people have gotten ticked off enough to actually not complete a form because of it. Even if they actually have a purpose like digitising books.

Feedburner to me seems to be a prime example of the redundancy of CAPTCHA.

I sign up for a feed based email, I get a CAPTCHA pop up to confirm my subscription, and that I’m “real”. After that, I then get an email to confirm that I actually wanted to receive en email, which I then have to click on again.

Too many steps. CAPTCHA here is an unesseary step. If I sign up to your email, and I confirm that via an email link you then send me, then I’m real. I want to receive it.

Keep the customer gateways in mind when considering acquisition – how many hurdles do they have to get past to connect with you? Remove as many of them as possible.

PHOTO – bekathwia