I visited Salesforce.com today to find out what the hub bub I’ve been hearing recently was all about. I come across at least one mention a day about the workforce service company and my own employer recently instituted it for it’s sales and marketing folks. Working in engineering I was left out so I decided to hop over to the site for an in depth looksy maybe see if I can find some usable tools for my team. On the home screen was a link to the obligatory demo videos you usually find for enterprise sites so naturally I clicked on it. What it took me to precisely sums up everything that companies so easily miss about providing a good consumer/customer experience – a form. Oh yes, it wanted to know my name company, address, email, and phone number before it promised to give me unfettered access to their products’ demo videos. Folks this is like saying you have to fill out a form before you can watch the next Apple commercial! It’s getting so that every site you go, every place you shop wants you to fill something out. For crying out loud I came to you to shop, let me shop already!!!! There aren’t enough exclamation marks for that last statement!
Some marketing guru decides they need to gather as many metrics as possible to market effectively that they’ve forgotten one basic metric – what turns off their customers? Why did they walk out of the store empty handed or clicked that ‘X’ to your site without emptying their virtual cart? Forms aren’t going to give you that metric because your customer is gone the second you thrust one at them. The only information you need is my credit card number when I pay and that’s ALL that should matter! Asking me twenty questions on the card swipe screen feels an awful lot like entrapment! Have you ever thought to yourself “Well I’ve already swiped my card so they’ve got my information so I guess I better answer all these stupid questions?” As long as we’re talking about swiping credit cards why on earth don’t they just say CREDIT; why must I press CANCEL for credit (it’s a rhetorical question of course, it’s because of the difference in fees banks charge between debit and credit transactions but that’s beside the point I’m making)? Why does paying have to be so complicated (self checkout stations)? I’ve already shopped with you, I’ve placed goods on your sales counter, I’m now handing you my payment now stop selling me something and say “Thank You!” That would be good customer service right? Finally use some common sense already because I’m not going to open up Target Red Card to save 5% on a $4.32 purchase! I could go on and will soon in an upcoming look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of customer service. Stay tuned.