Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Customers in Control

One of the ways to give a great customer experience is to offer real choices so that the customer can really get involved with the purchase.

But should you really bothered if the customer is involved? You might be thinking that the sale is the only real thing of importance. Well research and personal experience has shown that the more engaged a customer becomes during the purchase process the more likely they are to buy.

In other words, the more you hook customers in by giving them opportunities such as changing their product colour, upgrading to a higher spec, the less likely they are to make the effort to go elsewhere.

There is a risk that I could spend my time writing blogs about rubbish customer experiences and let’s face it, the material is there. However I found a good example of great choices recently when I was buying business cards on http://www.vistaprint.co.uk/

The choices were abundant with different paper quality and finish, ability to add your own photo or choose from a large range of preset designs.

Right from the start I was pulled into the process by the offer of free business cards but then quickly realised I liked the look of some of the paid-for extras. By the time I had designed my own card it was unlikely that I was going to search again for another supplier.

This site also followed another of my ROVER rules with customer reassurance that they are in the right place. A price guarantee tick box as well as a satisfaction guarantee tick box were well presented at the bottom of the purchasing pages.

The only downpoint to the process was having no less than 3 upsell screens before I could get to checkout which caused some frustration. An option to skip those pages would have been useful. So choices are great so long as the customer is in control at every moment.

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