What Can You Learn in 1-Minute About Customer Experience?


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With the explosion of social media, consumers have far greater options to express their opinions on websites they like and dislike; they express them to friends and family, not in the technical and analytical terms that professionals might use, but in quick summary statements that capture the essence of the sites.

We need to simulate being present at hundreds of social gatherings and eavesdropping on thousands of conversations to gather this information. We tried out an approach that had a strict 1-minute limit to capture consumer sentiment – any longer and you get difference responses. We want that hard-to-capture gut feeling. There were flaws in the process, no question, it was a test; we all know Amazon is a good site so what could we possibly learn?

What did consumers value about the Amazon site experience:

1. The site has great ratings, reviews and recommendations
2. It provides helpful search results
3. It is fast to get things done
4. Simple layout/easy to read
5. Accurate information

No big surprises, all of the items listed we could have predicted about Amazon but possibly not in the same order. I would have put ‘fast to get things done’ as my biggest impression but on reflection I do read the reviews. That is the crux of the test; what do consumers rate highest in terms of experience.

It does raise interesting questions; reviews, once an Amazon differentiator might be under greater threat with social media and rating sites, rarely do we find a retail site without ratings and reviews. Is Amazon still the best? What about search as number two; the growing use of Google and Bing to go directly to products might reduce the number of searchers on Amazon.

What rattled the consumer? Nothing big, most consumers were happy with the experience but if we were to be picky, and of course we are:

1. Cluttered layout
2. Hard to contact a person
3. The site was visually unattractive

Cluttered layout; this varied across demographics and the ones that hated the layout most – web professionals; we should have excluded them of course because as we all know – never trust an expert. As for being able to contact a person, we know it is pretty hard on Amazon but women were most frustrated. This was especially true for those that valued ‘fast to get things done’. The lesson, women are ‘doers’ and do n’t waste time. Men, as we all know avoid asking for any direction and presumably do not have a need to get things done fast.

It was an interesting exercise, not 100% scientific, we’d love to do it again with a bigger audience but did it raise and answer many questions. The biggest question for all website owners is “What is take away impressions of your site?”
If you’d like to read more, a full report is available at http://www.customerrespect.com/Services/Carewords/CCIAmazonReport.html

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Terry Golesworthy
As the president of The Customer Respect Group for 7 years, I focus on the online experience of consumers. Online experience has always been bigger than the company website, from the response to email to integration to other offline channels. It has now grown to include social media.


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