Wednesday, January 27, 2010

excellent fulfilment process from Tesco

It seems a while since I've found something positive to feature on this blog, but here is one. When I ordered a sat nav system online, not only did Tesco provide an online tracking facility [below], but delivered less than a couple of days after I ordered it. See the full story here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

costcutter cutting communication costs?

Somewhere along the line I had taken possession of an Irish £5 note. Not a problem for me, I worked in retail for a long time. I know that although it is not legal tender in the UK it is treated by the British banks in the same way as Scottish notes ie they accept them at face value [* see below]

Sadly, the nugget working in my local Costcutter store didn't know this. Neither did she know that the island of Ireland was divided into two countries, Northern Ireland and Eire. Neither did she know that Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom and that the £5 note was not 'foreign money'.

It was bad enough that a shop wouldn't take money from me [surely, the ultimate retailing sin?], but to add insult to injury, I was told that they accepted Scottish money but not Irish and was talked to as if I was an idiot and ... well, I was treated in such a way that I would have sacked that member of staff had she acted that way in one of my shops.

So I went to the 'contact us' page on the site [strangely, the returns a '404' page despite the fact that costcutter own the domain name] and after reading the message: 'Our highly talented people are what make the Costcutter story amazing!' I fired off an email. Well, no I didn't fire off an email because they only had a contact form - but anyway, I detailed my poor experience at the hands of one of their 'highly talented people'.

Upon pressing 'send' I got this message:
Nice, although I think you will find thank you is two words, not one - perhaps they are not highly talented spellers.

The thing is ... that was over a week ago. Do I need to say any more?

* In case you aren't aware, only English money is 'legal tender' in England - indeed the term 'legal tender' is unique to England, other countries using the legal term 'promissory note' to cover the issue. However, because England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all part of the UK, the banks have an agreement that they will accept each other's notes.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

computers & hairstyling : associated selling?

I'm considering buying a netbook - and one place I checked was ASDA. Here's the page for one that interested me - but take a look at the ads on the right. Printer, OK - but hair straighteners? Cross selling is a big part of a retailers income. Can you imagine a salesperson in a shop saying "good choice of computer sir, now can I interest you in some ceramic straighteners?" No ... so why do it online?

Monday, January 11, 2010

let me out of here

I suppose if you really pushed me I might come up with an acceptable reason for using a notice - and facility - like this one that appeared when I went to close a tab with a website on it:

Perhaps it might be used on the page of a form where the user has completed the details and so might have clicked away from the page by mistake.

But as a general rule, if I have indicated that I want to leave the page I probably want to do so. Taking an offline equivalent [as I like to do to make an online point], how would you feel if a member of staff held the door closed as you went to leave a shop and asked 'are you sure you want to leave'?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

exclamation mark com?

I saw the poster on a billboard:
Take a good look in the bottom righthand corner. I suppose it might have sounded a bit off-beat in the pitch, but domain names CANNOT have an exclamation mark in them. Of course, I know this - but when I asked my wife to go to the website she typed in the ! instead of 'dot'. My wife, by the way, is not stupid - she is as web-savvy as the average person. Big mistake, Britainthinks.
For more on domain names, go buy my book: choosing the right domain name: a marketing perspective.

if there's no price ... you can't afford it

I recall my mum quoting me the titular phrase when I was about six and staring in the window of expensive toy shop. By the time I was working in retail management I knew the theory behind the concept as well as how it worked in practice. However, I cannot see an application online - which makes HP's (Hewlett Packard) website something of a nonsense ... see below:
Do they really think that anyone would click on 'buy now' without knowing anything about the product or even how much it costs?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Newcastle Airport - it's snow joke II

Following on from an earlier entry - hey Newcastle Airport, it's snow joke - it would appear they do not run any kind of reputation management software and so have not read my blog [or more to the point, do not seem to care too much about their customers].

Last night saw a continuation of the bad weather in the UK, and the morning radio said that Newcastle airport was closed because of the snow. So I immediately went to the airport's website, and here's the front page:

Yep, same as it was on my previous entry on the subject; ie same as always. Similar story on the other relevant pages. The lack of updating is betrayed in this message on the 'latest news' feature:
For those who do not follow football, this match was played 4 days ago. Latest news ???

The same BBC radio news report said that both Gatwick and Bristol airports were closed - I was pleased to see that the website management [read: cutomer care] of those was better, here's their frontpages: