great retail customer experience

23 Aug

serenata homepage

Its not often that I can say that I’ve just had a great customer experience. Being focused on customer experience professionally, 99 out of 100 times I’m frustrated with the customer experience I receive, but today I had a great retail experience.

Lets start with the customer profile:

  • 30 something male – has no clue about flowers
  • Need – to find some appropriate flowers to send as a ‘get well soon’ message
  • Concerns - worried about sending the wrong message is aware of the situation where he sent ‘sympathy flowers’ to his Nan on her birthday
  • Primary Goal – to put a smile on the face of a client after a recent operation

So after a bit of ‘shopping around’ visiting different sites I settled for the one I felt looked professional, well designed and easy to use. I chose this site because it did all of those things and I spotted a tool on the left navigation which helped me navigate by sentement  to the ‘get well soon’ flowers.

Along the way I noticed some friendly features which made me feel that the site had really done its research into what their customers need. They provide a ‘Help me choose feature’ which I imagine really supports those slightly nervous flower naive men (and women) out there, and from the layout of the products and the clear shopping cart my confidence built with every minute I spent on the site.

help me choose feature

After choosing my flowers, specifying the delivery slot and making my purchase I was happy I’d done a good thing. A day later, a dispatch email into my inbox telling me my flowers were on their way in a friendly and amusing style and later that day another email arrived letting me know they were delivered successfully.

delivery email

OK, so there’s nothing ground-breaking in this experience, and sure there were some things I’d recommend that Serenata change but what struck me most was the effortlessness of it all. Sadly I’ve got used to things going wrong; websites being hard to use, difficulty making a purchasing decision, forms returning errors, mistakes in delivery. Instead I had a pleasant experience with a retailer and you know what, I’ll use them again and tell my friends (consider yourself a friend who’s been told).

After checking out a few other flower and gift retailers, many of them appear to have worked hard on their customer experiences and seem to be ahead of alot of other retailers. I guess what many of them have is a single channel to worry about and a fairly well defined set of customer goals to support. The challenge for multi-channel retailers is to focus their efforts on all their touchpoints to make them as slick as the flower and gift retailers have.

Full marks to Serenata who have clearly invested in getting their customer experience right. I wonder how many other retailers out there can claim to have invested in delivering a consistently great customer experience?

 

 

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Damian Rees

About Damian Rees

Damian has worked as a usability and user experience consultant for over 13 years. He has worked in senior roles within companies like the BBC and National Air Traffic Services where he has researched and designed for users in a variety of different contexts including web applications, voice recognition, and air traffic control interfaces. Follow Damian on twitter @damianrees