1to1 Magazine - November/December 2008 - (Page 15)
> CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Play.com Tops U.K. Customer Experience Survey The online electronics retailer scores high in ease of use. t he American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once opined, “In all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” That strategy has been taken to heart at online electronics retailer Play.com, which topped Forrester Research’s recent “U.K. Customer Experience Index 2008 (CEI).” “We’ve tried to keep things very simple,” says company COO Stuart Rowe. “We realized early on that we could go down the route of design where the whole website is maximized for search engine optimization, but then it looks like a dog’s breakfast. We want it to be really friendly and work in a very simple manner—not just in terms of functionality of the site itself but also by offering free delivery and a well-publicized call center.” Play.com, founded in 1997, topped the CEI with 95 percent in the “ease of use” category and a 71 percent score in “enjoyability”—the only company to record a “good” score in that bracket—and finished second only to Amazon.co.uk in terms of “usefulness.” The survey, wherein Forrester compiled aggregate scores in the three categories from 1,180 U.K.–based consumers, found nine of its top 10 rankings filled by retailers. “Retailers do better because what they do is so inherently measurable and actionable,” says the survey’s author, Craig Menzies, Forrester senior analyst of customer experience. “They can notice an uptick or downtick in their conversion rates relatively quickly and can act on those right away. The correlation between a transaction and a positive experience is not as direct in a nonretail environment.” Not surprisingly, Menzies says, the bottom seven spots were occupied by companies like mobile operators, ISPs, and utilities, with the best showing in those sectors by T-Mobile—which finished 17th on the list with a “poor” rating of 57 percent. “Enjoyability flows out of usefulness and ease of use,” Menzies says. The U.K.’s Customer Experience Leaders Customer experience ranking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Company Usefulness Ease of use 95% 92% 89% 86% 91% 85% 86% 86% 83% 82% Enjoyability Overall customer customer experience 71% 65% 58% 62% 48% 56% 61% 45% 49% 44% 85% 82% 77% 76% 75% 74% 73% 73% 70% 70% Play.com Amazon UK John Lewis ASDA Tesco/Tesco Direct Marks & Spenser HMW Lloyds TSB Boots Sainsburys 88% 91% 85% 81% 85% 81% 73% 86% 79% 85% Source: Forrester Research Inc. A team called the Member Advocacy Group places proactive calls to members who have indicated that they have unresolved issues. The team member soothes the customer and offers a solution. In addition, a meeting is scheduled with the agent and the supervisor in an attempt to avert future mistakes. “Coaching is important and follow up happens with the agents,” Wiekle says. Before implementing the RightNow solution last October, Wiekle says, Helio basically ran reports that attemped to tell the company what the members were thinking. “The difficulty was it didn’t allow us to get to the level of detail to impact the member. It was very difficult to be responsive,” he says. Wiekle says it’s too early to quantify the results, but says the primary benefit has been around increased satisfaction. “We really understand what members are thinking as it relates to service,” he says. “Customers get a better experience when they call in. Their issues are resolved quicker and more often.” > Mila D’Antonio “If your business or website is useful and easy to navigate, the likelihood that your customers will enjoy the experience is relatively high.” Play.com and Amazon.co.uk rate so highly because they keep the customer experience foremost in mind, Menzies says. “We actually had some respondents give both of them high marks for their brickand-mortar stores, which of course they don’t even have,” he says. “They do such a good job online that people don’t think of them not having ‘real’ stores.” Rowe confirms that customer experience is the watchword at Play.com. “We look at real detail to determine whether our customers would enjoy something, which led to things like putting the customer service phone number on every page. Since we’re privately owned, a lot of our decisions are made over a cup of coffee and go up live within a day. We don’t have to roll out POS materials to 400 stores.” For other companies to learn from Play.com, Menzies says, they should stop just paying lip service to customer experience and pay closer attention to details. “A lot of companies will go for the throat with what they consider an enjoyable Web experience, but it ends up being all about brand value and not about customer experience,” he says. “They need to crawl before they walk, and get usefulness and ease right first—focus on the boring but important stuff. “‘Best practices’ are so-called for a reason,” he adds. “Look at a company that’s doing a good job, deconstruct what they’re doing, and apply it to your business. It’s not a short-term strategy, and it can be expensive, but in the long run it’s worth it.” > Kevin Zimmerman Excellent Good OK Poor Very Poor 80+ 70% to 79% 60% to 69% 50% to 59% <50% November/December 2008 15
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 1to1 Magazine - November/December 2008
1to1 - November/December 2008
In Social Overdrive
Mobile Gets a Makeover
Employees Are Customers, Too
Helio Gets Proactive About Problem Solving
Play.com Tops U.K. Customer Experience Survey
On the Beat
GLOBAL TRENDS: The Quest for Customer Strategy
All Roads Lead to the Customer
Global (Customer) Warming
Passion and Data Fuel Buell Motorcycles
Can Your Business Get a Date?
As the World Churns
Face to Face with Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D.
1to1 Magazine - November/December 2008
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