Currys PC World – Customer Experience Review

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Many congratulations to Currys PC World for being the first to feature in my new series of ‘customer experience reviews’ that will become a staple on my blog going forward. As regular readers of my blog are all too aware, I often use real life stories to bring the subject of customer experience to life – so what better way to do this than to produce a critical, independent review of the organisations I interact with.

The reviews will follow a standard format, looking at 5 experience ‘areas’. I will be scoring each ‘area’ on a scale from 1 to 10, enabling each organisation I review to achieve a total of 50 points. For every ten points scored, I will award a star – get 50 points, and you will be awarded 5 stars – easy!!

The review principle is exactly the same as a review conducted by a restaurant critic – it is my opinion – whether you agree or disagree is completely up to you! I will be applying my specialist critique and using my considerable experience in making my judgement!! So let’s get going – what did I think of Currys PC World?

Date Review Conducted 6th April 2014
Store Visited Chester, Sealand Road and Online
CX Review Total Score 30/50
Stars Awarded 3/5

I am unfortunate to be writing this review on a laptop that has seen better days. Continually mocked by my colleagues and peers, it has become mildly embarrassing to remove it from my bag in public! The Golding family is not blessed in the laptop department – Naomi has been working on a different laptop without an operable letter ‘e’ for the last twelve months. On Sunday we decided enough is enough – we needed to purchase not one, but two new laptops!!

Our ‘customer journey’ started with us having the need to make a purchase. The next stage was for us to decide where to go to make that purchase. Naomi’s parents recently bought a new laptop from John Lewis. Interestingly, they were not over awed by the experience and felt that Currys PC World had greater choice. No other retailers were mentioned – the desire to want to see, feel and touch the technology was paramount, and these two were foremost in our minds. The power of feedback and recommendation genuinely has an effect on the decision making process – we decided to visit Currys PC World and not John Lewis.

Accessibility – CX Review Score 8/10

Living in Chester, we have very easy access to Currys PC World. Located on a retail park in Sealand Road, the store is very easy to find, and ample parking is available. The store is located near supermarkets and restaurants, so you can combine your visit with other activities – something we did ourselves on Sunday. The website is easy enough to find on a laptop or mobile, and the site is mobile enabled. All in all, Currys PC World scores pretty well on the subject of accessibility.

Range/Choice – CX Review Score 8/10

Currys PC World score well on range and choice. On entering the cavernous store, it was pretty easy to locate the computing ‘department’. Banks of tables were laid out with all sorts of device on show – from touchscreen laptops, to tablets to multi functional things where the screen detaches from the keyboard. It is great to be able to see, feel and touch the product – one of the things that is important to me is to get a sense of the weight and size of the machine. There was a good range of different manufacturers, and only a couple of displays were empty. If nothing else, I would strongly recommend visiting a Currys PC World to ‘check out’ what you might want to buy – whether or not you end up buying it from them is another matter.

People – CX Review Score 3/10

Sadly, this is where our experience started to go wrong. Purchasing one laptop (let alone two) is not a regular occurrence. Most people will require help and assistance in making the decision as to what might be right for them. Despite the fact the store was not very busy (even on a Sunday), there were only a handful of staff visible. We were pleased that eventually a lady approached us and asked if we required help. This would have been agreeable…..if the lady were actually capable of fulfilling that request. When you are enquiring about a technical purchase, it is a basic necessity for the staff serving you to have knowledge of the technology you are interested in. This lady regrettably did not. Whilst she was pleasant, she could not answer a single question posed to her, and was even not open to going to find out. We ended up trying to research the answers to questions on our smartphones whilst she stood watching us. Eventually she disappeared to ‘serve’ another customer – I guess she got bored with the Golding’s. This lady is not the only cause of the low score for people. I did ask another member a staff a technical question about a particular laptop. Whilst not bothering to look up from what he was doing, his response was negative and dismissive – not in the slightest bit helpful. This store needs to focus on its people – the customer experience is being detrimentally affected by them.

Value – CX Review Score 6/10

On the value front, we were quite impressed by Currys PC World. With products to suit all sizes of pocket, they certainly had the type of product we would be interested in buying. However, when making a purchase of this nature, we always look online to see if we can get a better deal. We did find a couple of better value products with other retailers. However, in the main, Currys PC World are pretty well priced. The reason why I have awarded a 6 for value, is that today (one day later) I have noticed that they are running a Big Easter deal price matching offer – no one in the store had the courtesy to mention this. I did not notice if the offer was advertised in the store. I feel slightly duped – I might have purchased something that I could have found cheaper elsewhere and might never have known – that I do not perceive to be great value.

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How did it make me feel? CX Review Score 5/10

So how did I feel at the end of the experience. Well with the little assistance offered by the unknowledgeable and slightly ignorant staff, I certainly did not feel great. I did not feel awful either though. I had achieved part of what I wanted – I had been able to see a variety of laptops that will help us to make a purchase. The key is that it will help me to make my purchase elsewhere. The majority of the experience is good – yet the most important element provided by people is very poor. All in all, this leads me to give Currys PC World a score of 5 on the ‘feelings’ front – very middle of the road. Just remember, we tend to remember the very good or the very bad experiences – this one will very shortly be forgotten altogether (once I have finished writing this review).

Would I use them again? No

So the big decision – will I return to Currys PC World? My answer is slightly confusing – because I would not hesitate to go there again……to have a look. But based on my experience yesterday, I will not be handing over my hard earned cash to an organisation whose people do not know what they are doing, or do not care enough to provide customers with the help they really need. My experience tells me that whilst the organisation has largely got its product offer right, it MUST start to invest in its people – they need to understand and empathise with the customers that cross the threshold – whether that be online, in store or both.

What do you think of Currys PC World? Does my experience reflect your own? Do you think I am being overly critical? Your views are as important as mine, and would be gratefully received.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ian Golding, CCXP
A highly influential freelance CX consultant, Ian advises leading companies on CX strategy, measurement, improvement and employee advocacy techniques and solutions. Ian has worked globally across multiple industries including retail, financial services, logistics, manufacturing, telecoms and pharmaceuticals deploying CX tools and methodologies. An internationally renowned speaker and blogger on the subject of CX, Ian was also the first to become a CCXP (Certified Customer Experience Professional) Authorised Resource & Training Provider.

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