Friday, January 22, 2016

Knock knock - who's there? Your customer experience

John Lewis is no longer the exemplar in UK customer service. Amazon has stolen its place at the top of the list. It is precisely JL's inability to replicate its in store customer experience online which is costing it so dear.

See the top 50 here

In store they can control. Online, they lose control of the last few yards - the delivery. Tesco, it seems, has understood this - investing in training for its delivery van folk. They seem on the whole a cheery bunch (at least where I live), happy to be doing their job and representing the brand with real concern. They have understood where the human touch of brand interaction actually happens in an online transaction - on the doorstep.

Compare and contrast to a John Lewis delivery. Some great - some not. None controlled by the brand. The click and collect system seem to melt down at Christmas (a camera I went to pick up in store never arrived. Hours spent on the phone resulted in it finally being delivered to me at home. That came with a promise of a £20 goodwill refund. Checked my credit card statement only today (nearly a month later) and the refund never was made. Another phone call today should have remedied that - fingers crossed).

Some fragile deliveries have been slung over garden gates.

JL aren't alone in getting the less-the-perfect service from the delivery outfits they employ. But given the very high value they place on service they have to ask themselves if the gap in control of the customer experience they have opened up is too great.

Consistent customer experience has to drive through the entire journey. The last touch-point you can afford to scrimp on is the one where the customer physically interacts with the brand. Often, and increasingly, that's the delivery person.

Is Amazon perfect? No but more of its deliveries go right than anyone else's I try - and that is my experience of the brand and therefore the one I share with my peers.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The 10 Principles of Open Business - in Chinese

I'm pleased to say the rights to publish The 10 Principles of Open Business in simplified Chinese have been sold to China Renmin University Press.
I'm really looking forward to seeing how it looks and delighted that the message is being shared with the world's most populous and fastest-growing nation.
I'm fascinated to see the results of that...

Monday, January 11, 2016

He told us not to blow it

David Bowie taught a generation is was great to think different.
He was as much a  platform for innovation and creativity as Apple ever will be.
Yes I have been a lifelong fan, Ive seen him play arenas, festivals, Cambridge Corn Exchange and, on one memorable occasion in the tiny below stairs nightclub of a London hotel as he warmed up for the Earthling tour.
I published a fanzine dedicated to the man called Hunky Dory. It sold in its niche around the world. Don't know what a Fanzine is? It's what we used to do before blogging.
So it's easy to conclude I'm biased. I'm going over the top because he who fell to Earth is now raised up among the stars.
But I'm serious about the Apple comparison. For my money two men impacted our culture more than any others in the late 20th Century and early 21st - Steve Jobs with his hard and software and David Bowie - with his permission.
He gave us the permission to be different, to challenge the normal, to seek something extraordinary - in ourselves and in each other.
As news of his death starts to sink in, I'm finding the best way to cope is to remember what he gave us - and to try to use it everyday.
Look out your windows - and don't forget to sparkle.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?