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Taking Customers on Unnecessary Journeys?

Taking Customers on Unnecessary Journeys?

So what’s the take-away idea?  Look at the journey that the customer takes from researching, to landing on your digital pages, to doing business with you.  Are you making it easy to do business or do you throw a couple of curve balls – to put them off.  List the things that might put a customer off – and eradicate them.

It was late last Friday evening, when a friend decided to take a train, and we said we’d help him get his ticket online.  What a journey!

We embarked in good cheer on a digital journey that left us exclaiming in annoyance and throwing our hands in the air – three grown adults – baffled by over-zealous database generators.  Let me explain.

The train ticket website clearly outlines at the beginning of the journey that you have to follow an 8 step process – in order to acquire a train ticket.  Because I only like to name companies that win at digital marketing – this particular train company shall remain nameless for the duration of this article.

Step One.  We entered John’s planned journey into a simple request form.  Date, one-way, destination, one ticket.  Easy.

Step two.  Name and Last name.  John parted cheerfully with this detail.

Step three.  Seat selection.  OK.

Step four.  Login details.  If you don’t have an account with us press ‘Continue’.  So we did.

Step five.  Set up an account with us.   What! –it’s the only option.  Bags of personal information required – including name, address, password, email.  We only want one ticket. Bad.  Very bad.  Only one journey planned – out of here. 

Security details.  For an account our friend will never use again. Why?   Optional details – Date of birth etc – SKIP.

Step  Six.  Register the account.  Do we have to?  We just want one ticket – out of here.

Step seven.  Pay for the ticket.  An important note about step 8 pops up – so we read that first.  Together.  Irritated.

Step eight.  Collect the ticket at the train station.  You mean to say we don’t even get a printable ticket after entering all that information.  You mean to say, we have to give all that personal detail for a ticket we could have purchased in minutes at the station.  What’s the point in taking us on that journey for nothing – not even a printable ticket?

At step eight, John said.  “I’ll just buy the ticket at the station…”

Question: Do you take customers on unnecessary online journeys?  Are you populating your database or satisfying customer needs?  This is an important question because your thirst for information could strongly conflict with your service ethos.

123.ie is a company that insists that you can get an insurance quote in three steps – ‘As easy as 123.’    Once you become an established customer, Amazon allows you to purchase with one click.

If all your customer wants is a simple item, with no fuss, quickly, once off – then why capture the in an intimidating data net?

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