A solution to a horrible customer, remote buying experience posted on LinkedIn (link to post).

First a recap of the customer experience…

  1. Potential customer likes your products. Wow! Low/no SG&A cost to capture this one!!
  2. Horrible customer experience on your “e-commerce website.” But you are lucky, she still wants to buy your products.
  3. She is told to alternatively order by phone. Frustrated but you are still lucky as she is persistently eager to buy your products. She orders products by phone.
  4. She is pissed off! You canceled her order due to products being out-of-stock! You lose “this” new customer.

From a strategic perspective this horrible customer buying experience could be analyzed by looking at the butterfly effects on SG&A, Marginal Cost, Market Share, Reputation, et al. But just looking at business 101 practices this company is either a mess or at the very least needs to do damage control. Social media can kill the best products! Let’s look at two probable causes of this horrible customer experience and simple corrective actions.

  1. The company strategy includes selling directly to end consumers. In this case, the sales process is a mess and needs to be fixed. Whether a company is good and reputable, or bad and doomed to failure starts and ends with the head. So is the CEO the head of an angel or a snake? If a snake then we are done here. And so are the chances this company will survive long-term without a CEO change. If there is hope then we need to reconnect the CEO with reality.

To reconnect the CEO with reality a good consultant would simply force the CEO to experience the sales process enough times to get the process fixed. In other words, have the CEO “eat its own dog food”! The metric is simple too. Measure the CEOs’ cortisol levels before, during, and after the process. Decreasing levels are good. (Of course, the consultant will make big bucks facilitating from As-Is through To-Be process correction 😊)

  1. The company strategy does not include selling directly to end consumers. They just forgot the part where you let end consumers know this. This is also an extremely easy fix. Simply reformat your website to make it glaringly clear to end-consumers who want your products to source through a re-seller. Maybe even require login for B2B customers to log in to their commerce account. And for end-consumers offer links to resellers located near them.

The intent of this response is in hopes that the particular offending company (or so many others that have raised our cortisol levels) read this AND takes corrective action.