I recently had a disappointing interaction with a store. It was easily fixable too. While their customer service team was polite, my loyalty has now come into question. How could they treat my business so cavalier?
The problem stemmed from their online shopping cart which didn't automatically add a qualified promotional item in with my purchase. The site had some user friction that requires finding it on the site and manually adding it to my cart. There was no reminder, no disclosure or other notice either. Whether by error or design, it was not an advisable way to conduct a digital transaction. Customers shouldn't have to do the work for a broken process.
What made matters worse was that customer service apologized, but said they could not do anything. Strike two. They now turned a loyalty promotion into a retention problem. That's why we see abandoned carts and low adoption rates. And we wonder why the marketing campaign didn't work?
A couple of years ago I was on a delayed flight. We sat at the gate for over two hours with only one announcement. We were told that we had to wait for paperwork and then we could push out. That single announcement came 20 minutes in. While the crew stood in front of me chatting for hours, I got text alerts that kept changing the departure time. Friction of a different kind.
The lesson that both of these events have in common is simple: your operations should align with the marketing message to ensure the best customer experience (CX). In both cases, the solutions were not difficult to keep customers happy. The online store could have shipped me the promo items or offered me bonus loyalty points. The airline crew could have made periodic announcements and walked the aisle to talk to passengers. These are all low-cost and high value tactics which would have kept me from writing this blog and questioning my long-term loyalty. Marketing and product are strategic pieces of your team. Keep them engaged in the conversation and make sure they are listening to the customer.