This is a Friday post which means that it’s lacking in any weight or seriousness (which apparently isn’t just for Fridays around here but it sounded good). I pay attention to the details of storefront systems that online retailers have, everything from the layout of the workflow to how confirmations are delivered, to me these things are the beginning of the my customer experience and where the tone is set.
I just love it when online ordering systems employ humor to treat customers like people rather than just the driver of the fingers typing in the shipping address and the credit card number. Check out this ordering system from SFbags.com (I wrote previously about this company here), in particular look at the options in the drop down menus.
Are the responses in these dropdowns any less accurate or effective than simple “yes” or “no” options. Absolutely not, but like many other aspects of this ordering system they help set a tone that reinforces that on either side of the transaction we are human beings. Smart, very smart.
The next example is from Crumpler (ironically, another bag company), who uses humor as a cornerstone for not just their website but the entire company apparently. Any company that names a product “The Dreadful Embarrassment” doesn’t have a humor deficit.
Here’s a paragraph from the confirmation e-mail I received after order one of their products:
Your order number is important. Make a note of it. Treasure it. You’ll need to quote your order number if you have a query with your order. If you want to talk about your order, you can just reply to this email. We know who you are.
It worked just as effectively as almost every other confirmation email I have received, but it also caught my attention and made me smile, something no other company has done… I like the company first and foremost because of their products, but equally so because of the way they treat me and that experience as a customer is one I will tell others about… as I am doing right now.
If your company has any kind of online ordering system, every employee from the CEO on down should be required to actually use it to experience what it feels like as a customer.
- * Can I find what I need easily and quickly
- * Are product options explained with clarity and in such a way that motivates me to select them
- * Is it clear where to go to checkout
- * Can I change my shopping cart midway through the checkout process without starting over
- * If I fail to enter some piece of required information on the checkout page does the page reload and dump everything else I entered and force me to start over
- * If I am a repeat customer are details about my history made available
- * Is appropriate confirmation information displayed on screen and in a e-mail
- * Is tracking information provided at the appropriate time
- * Is all of this done in a manner that reinforces the relationship the company is building with their newest customer
Technorati Tags: design, web design, retail, storefronts