customer experience

Some reading…

I’ve been doing some work for the subscription bureau Dovetail recently, writing and editing content on their website. It’s building into a nice little collection of guides, tips and case studies about subscriptions marketing and ecommerce and (though I say so myself) is well worth a look. Recent pieces include:

Print and digital subscription bundles. Abi from The Week shares the title’s strategy on building its digital subs.

Checkout enhancements. We all lose too many customers in the final stage of the payment funnel. Here are some things you can do to reduce that.

Getting more revenue from subscribers. Carolyn Morgan looks at ways of using the 80/20 rule to your advantage.

Using reviews to boost search performance. In a competitive search landscape reviews can help raise your site in the rankings. Here’s what you need to know.

There’s also a blog and, if you want to know what content has been posted recently, you can sign up for the Dovetail newsletter.

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Dovetail Subscription Conversion workshop

To the Dovetail Subscription Conversion workshop held at the conference centre of the British Library (an excuse for a plug for my review of the Magna Carta: Law, Liberty Legacy exhibition).

A short afternoon, but with several presentations on different aspects of ways in which we can maximise the return on subs efforts. For each I’ve got links to a blog post which has a copy of the presentation, as well as a link to a longer ‘Guide‘ which has a bit more background and context. Most of what was discussed was at a basic or intermediate level to match the differing knowledge levels of the audience, but it’s always helpful to be reminded of stuff we already know (or think that we do).

  • Ecommerce Top Tips (presentation here; more detail here): Ways to improve ecommerce performance through better understanding of the customer journey, improving the user experience and testing different approaches.
  • Using Customer Service better (presentation here; more detail here): Many of us don’t take full advantage of the knowledge and experience of our CS teams, but involving them early in the set up of new promotions can reduce the number of errors that occur later.
  • How reviews can boost SEO performance (presentation here; more detail here): Climbing up the search engine rankings is a tough old game, but adding reviews and ratings to your product pages can help. It also gives invaluable feedback on your products and services.

These are the first bits of a new project I’ve been asked to do by Dovetail to provide extra content for their site. I’ll post up more links as and when I do them.

Delivery Fail

The regular reader of this blog will know that I’m quite keen that customers get their products swiftly. It matters not that your site is a paradigm of UX if the goods someone orders turn up three weeks late.

So even I got excited when a colleague in the office said that Oasis were doing 90 minute (90 minute!) delivery to selected postcodes and that it cost only £6.99 and was free for orders over £100. This surely, is a game changer.

Egged on by me, said colleague ordered a pair of boots, selected 90 minute delivery, paid, and got the confirmation email. There was even GPS tracking of the order so you could watch it driving towards the office.

Except. 15 minutes after placing the order she got a voicemail message from Oasis. The 90 minute delivery is fulfilled from the nearest store and although “the system” had said that particular style and size of boot was in stock, it wasn’t. So the order was being cancelled.

Oasis turned the game changer into a spectacular fail. Not only was the promised delivery not made, there was no alternative – why not give the customer the option of getting the goods the next day (from other stock) and having all the delivery charge refunded? Or passing the order to a store that has stock and letting the customer know that the 90 minutes might now be 2 hours (and refunding delivery).

90 minute, same day, next day delivery is great – but what is your contingency plan when something goes wrong?