In my last article branding is about consistent customer experience, I emphasized that company’s brand strategy is more about consistently good customer experience than just choosing suitable color for logo.
A day back, I actually saw that in action or rather in-action. A company, which runs a famous retail shop, went through a transformation recently. Probably it was either that they realized they were heavily disorganized or that the competition was eating into the margin, they decided to get re-organized. The store which was highly disorganized and looked like a wholesale market with a face of retail shop, now became a swanky stylish one.
The new design was at first confusing as everything was arranged neatly and the places where I could find stuff (rather ‘search’ and enjoyed doing so) were cleaned up. Disappointed at my loss, I was nevertheless happy with the new image of the store and how it made shopping there much easier.
Alas, I was wrong. I wanted to replace a DVD which was defective. I had to run around and ask many employees before I found one who would take my complaint. The person in-charge was the slower than a snail. She had literally no interest in resolving my complaint. It took her around one hour to replace a DVD, in which she made four runs to the billing counter to verify one thing or the other.
After this almost troubling experience, my wife and I took a few music CDs with us to purchase. The billing counter had not changed at all. We were met with same employees who often took a lot of time just to scan a few items. After scanning the items, they casually announce that credit card machine was not working due to system upgrade. They said that they will only take cash. Fortunately both of us had cash and we were able to buy. On other lines, I could see irritated customer, who after having spent a lot of time were confronted with the reality of credit card machines not working. Everything looked unplanned as ever, even though there were new shades of colors on the walls.
The bad experience remained the same. It was never that nice but customers knew what to expect. The management decided to change that. However at the places where change was required, namely,customer service and and billing remained the same. Not only the management got all their priorities wrong but also they missed a chance to enhance customer experience, the real reason people buy.