My daughter and I found the perfect desk chair for her while shopping last Sunday. The experience provided a timely reminder of why we spend so much time with our clients analysing the full customer journey and working out how to remove the silly stuff in that journey.
For the record the chair is adjustable, has wheels and most importantly (for her) is upholstered with pink love hearts and (for me) was a clearance item. We found it at Pottery Barn, part of the Williams Sonoma Group, and one of the raft of foreign retailers entering the Australian market.
At first glance it looked like they had a very slick bricks and clicks business model. On entering the shop I was greeted by a staff member and was directed by the person at what used to be called the cash register and is now called the Point of Sale (although technically this term is now also inaccurate) and was directed across the shop to a dedicated assistant on a computer ( the point wheretheir sale and my purchase would take place) She went online and ordered the chair- no problems...yet. I've already got my welcome to Pottery Barn email with an offer of 10% off my next purchase.
Quoted in this post is the edited confirmation I got via email today. Interestingly this business has invested well in a good POS, in an in shop business process that works and in a solid software as a service ERP that renders quickly and well online. They forgot, however, to put a different skin on their electronic correspondence. They know my name but have referred to me as "Guest Shopper 337260". They have also told me my order has been "fulfilled" but it won't arrive for a week. I guess it has been fulfilled from their warehouses' perspective, It's been dispatched and is in the hands of another supplier. Without going into what the word "fulfilled" might mean to your average Australian punter it certainly doesn't mean a courier company will call you some time in the next few days and arrange a delivery time. Customer rather than company focussed language is important - letting in house terms leak into the public domain looks silly.
Dear Guest Shopper 337260, The status of your order 671-372602 has been updated. ....Your order no. 671-372602 has been fulfilled. Please refer to our Shipping Timetable for expected arrival of your order. For items shipping via DELUXE Delivery, our delivery service will call to schedule an appointment. Please allow up to a week to receive this call......