Taking a break from all the finance posts, we thought we’d share our thoughts about the online experience in general.
So if you’re reading this blog, you are most likely a savvy online consumer. This means that you probably turn to the Internet first whenever you are faced with any challenge. This could be for anything from buying travel tickets, to figuring out what’s wrong with your tumble dryer, to finding a new home loan. The internet is simply brilliant at giving us all the information we need the moment we need it.
All the products and services we need are becoming increasingly more widely available online too. We can pretty much take care of arranging most things from the convenience of our lounge chair. But not all online businesses are equal – and it is when faced with one that is a bit behind the game, that we realise how brilliant the industry leaders are.
This struck me recently when doing a whole lot of online shopping buying school supplies for the new year. I bought everything I needed – school shoes, stationery, lunch boxes, and even the first week’s lunch box fillers! In dealing with the various online stores, it became apparent exactly who the market leaders are – there are many stores that all sell the same thing but there are those that excel by simply offering a more intelligent process – something that shows that they really understand their customer and why their customer is shopping online. This as opposed to those bricks-and-mortar stores that simply threw up a website almost as an afterthought just to “compete” with other online players.
One simple “feature” (not sure you can even call it that) that’s an indicator of those that really understand “online”, is the simple “leave item at door if unattended” tick box. Yes, this simple option changes everything. It shows that the merchant understands that we don’t get everything delivered to the office which is manned during business hours. It shows that they also understand that no normal human being can afford to sit at home all day waiting for the delivery guy to show up. It shows recognition of the fact that we are prepared to risk that no one will steal our $7.49 plastic lunch box from our doorstep if the delivery guy was to leave it there. It makes a huge difference in “achieving” the convenience of online.
I recently witnessed the failure of a less convenient process which really drove this message home. From the upstairs window at my house I noticed the white “contractor” Australia POST delivery van pull up outside. I walked downstairs to go greet the man who would be bringing me the item that was being delivered. I opened the door and instead of finding a human being standing there – all that was left was that horrible, terrible note that we all hate – “we tried to deliver your item but no one was home. Please come and collect it from the Post office but not for at least another 4 hours”.
Now, it only took me 30 seconds to get to the front door and yet I still missed him. The infuriating part was that this guy did not even attempt to see if we were home. No door knock. No door bell ring. No acknowledgement of the driveway full of cars. Nothing. It was as if the item he was delivering was the note and not the actual package. A definite breakdown in the “convenience of the online experience”. Instead of me receiving my item with no fuss, I now had to arrange to go collect it from a store with inconvenient opening hours, inconvenient parking, and which is further away than another store that sells the same item. Just a ridiculous situation. One that could easily have been avoided with the addition of a “leave package at front door if address unattended” tick box. Really really frustrating.
MyRate reviews customer feedback daily. We are always looking to improve the user experience. We work to constantly improve our website and to add new tools and features based on the comments we get from our users. Sometimes we are unfortunately limited by legislation, and compliance requirements in terms of how streamlined and easy we can make the application process – but we think we do a pretty good job.
If you disagree, or if you have any great suggestions to help us improve, please let us know.Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you.