Pukka teas are a brand that’s easy to like. They present themselves as a healthy, organic company. They have a nice overall feel, they have good quality products, their packaging is appealing, their website is…well, ok.
So, over the years while I’ve been a customer, I’ve found a few teas that I really like. But I have tried some that I don’t like so much too. I know they have quite a big range so every time I see their invitation for free samples on the inside of their box I think “one day I should do that”. I can try out a bunch of different teas, and expand my horizons a little. Pukka get more money from me and everyone’s happy. Every time I found myself in the supermarket to buy some new teas I looked at their range, hungry to try something new but wary of buying a whole box if I didn’t like the taste. And every time I would kick myself for not filling in that free sample form!
My goal was clear: Broaden taste horizons by sampling different teas without having to commit to a whole box in case I didn’t like them
So after lots of times telling myself I should, 2 weeks ago I finally did. I went to the website and filled in the form with anticipation. Then after completely forgetting about it, this weekend I received a small package in my letter box.
Excited when I saw it was from Pukka, my next thought was it looked a little small. I opened it up to find 2 free tea bags, both of which I had tried before. Excitement turned to disappointment, which then turned to anger. I’d wasted my efforts in filling out the form and telling myself off every time I hadn’t filled in the form.
Pukka could turn customers into brand advocates
Pukka had an opportunity to turn me from a regular customer to a loyal customer who spends more money with them and who will potentially go on to become an advocate to recommend the free samples to their friends. Allowing Pukka to grow their customer base and increase their customer data capture from their free samples form. Instead they offer a sub standard customer experience, leaving me frustrated and much less likely to fully engage with the brand further. Although they haven’t done enough to stop me from being a customer altogether, its unlikely I’ll ever try out the other options in their range and will just stick to what I know until I find an alternative brand which interests me more.
Cost to send tea samples vs. benefit of delighting customers
If the issue is one of cost in sending out a bunch of free samples then there are different ways to look at it. One would be to give customers the option to indicate which teas they have tried and which they haven’t. Alternatively Pukka could look at the opportunity to create loyal customers or customer advocates who will bring them more customers. They may decide that the cost associated with sending a larger number of free samples is worth it to acquire new customers and larger purchases from repeat customers.
Pukka took an opportunity to delight and instead replaced it with one which frustrated and angered. Are you making the most of your opportunities to delight your customers?
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