Article

Sruthi Narayanan
Sruthi Narayanan 20 September 2016

When One Rookie Mistake Ruins a Near-Perfect Customer Experience

Every marketer’s goal should be to understand what each customer wants at a granular level, and then create an experience that prioritizes those unique preferences. But despite claiming to be customer-first, many top brands are still missing key opportunities to source behavioral insights and engage with their customers in contextually-relevant ways.

To better understand the different strengths and weaknesses of brands today, we created an account with a popular hobbyist brand specializing in trending electronics and lifestyle items. We documented the retailer’s communications with us at each checkpoint in our lifecycle, specifically looking to understand what they did to encourage future engagement/repeat purchases and maximize customer lifetime value.

One of the most important things that marketers need to understand is that sometimes it only takes one misstep to lose a customer or a purchase. The key to customer-centricity is ensuring that you’re optimizing on every opportunity to drive engagement, to ease a point of friction, and to meet your customers’ needs as they come up. Even one irrelevant message or missed signal of intent is enough for a customer to become frustrated. This particular retailer - while stellar in nearly every aspect of their marketing strategy, as we experienced during our purchasing journey - unfortunately missed a big opportunity to save a missed sale. And the fact that they were so targeted and agile with everything else makes this one mistake that much more noticeable.

In the beginning of our customer journey, everything seemed set up for success:

  • When I provided my email address, the retailer immediately delivered a $10 coupon to be used on a future purchase - a great way to encourage a transaction and to incentivize engagement.​
  • After we browsed a few items in the retailer's "Headphones" category, then exited the website without purchasing anything, the brand immediately sent us a browse abandonment email suggesting that we use our $10 coupon to purchase the headphones we'd been looking at.
  • When we switched from web to mobile to test the brand's omnichannel abilities, the brand was able to recognize that the same customer was utilizing two different devices - all the historical actions we'd made on the mobile page carried over when we switched back to the website.

The one big pitfall, however, came with the brand’s handling of cart abandonment - or, more specifically, with the brand’s failure to do anything to reengage us when we abandoned our shopping cart. After we left a set of speakers in our shopping cart, the brand didn’t send any sort of follow-up email or winback campaign to encourage us to complete our transaction. Considering how much attention they’d been giving us during the earlier stages of our shopping journey, I was pretty surprised that they’d slipped up with cart abandonment - something many consider to be “Marketing 101.”

Though our overall experience with this retailer was nearly flawless, their failure to respond with agility and relevance to our abandoned cart is a red flag. Clearly, too many retailers still see an abandoned cart as the end of the road, but a customer’s interest is actually still fairly high in the moments after they’ve walked away from a purchase - 3 in 4 abandoned carts can be recovered. If a customer has abandoned a cart, it doesn’t mean that they’ve lost interest, but it does mean that there’s a point of friction in the way that’s preventing them from completing the sale. A marketer needs to be able to step in immediately in order to deliver what the customer needs and help them make their purchase. (And if this retailer had done as much, we might’ve gone ahead and bought our speakers!)

This post originally appeared on the Zaius blog - visit us to learn more about our research project and to discover the benefits of a B2C CRM.

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