April 02, 2012 | The XM Blog

The Good News About Bad News


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Bad news is inevitable, but it’s the one thing we all try to avoid hearing or talking about. We live with the notion that if we can couch bad news as is, it gives us the perception that the world is a better place.

If you’ve ever waited in a tremendously long line with money or credit card clenched in your fist to purchase a hot commodity (concert tickets, the latest iPad, Tickle-Me Elmo) and felt the thrill of being so close to acquiring something so amazing only to get to the front of the line to find an empty shelf then you can probably relate to my brother’s saying. Nobody wants to put time and effort into an experience if they can’t reap any benefits from it.

Most of us can agree that if something we want is no longer available we’d like to know so we don’t waste our precious time. This “delayed notification” phenomenon is a common issue in e-retail that can have a very negative impact on the customer experience. Most online shoppers intent on making purchases want to know as soon as possible if an item they want is out of stock. After all, it IS the internet – and chances are they’ll be able to find what they want elsewhere. However, if a user is loyal to a brand, they may prefer to purchase directly from that brand’s site.

For example, ForeSee works with a retail brand that has very loyal customers offline but, at the time, was struggling to generate online sales. In particular, they had a very high rate of cart abandonment.

Upon further analysis of this brand’s customer experience data, ForeSee’s Satisfaction Research Analysts found that customers who visited the brand’s retail website were most dissatisfied with the availability of merchandise. Our analysts concluded that customers were abandoning their carts at checkout because items they wanted to purchase were out of stock. However, due to the fashion in which the shopping cart page was laid out, customers weren’t notified of this until they had already started the check-out process. Thus, many customers abandoned their purchases altogether and left the site, having had a less than satisfactory experience.

To help this brand boost their online sales, our Usability Team recommended the brand make changes to the layout of its online shopping cart so customers were aware of an item’s availability earlier in the process and be less inclined to abandon the sale altogether at the end.

This is just one example of how ForeSee’s Satisfaction Research Analysts and Usability Auditors help organizations dig deep into customer feedback in order to make changes that will enhance the customer experience and, in turn, directly impact the company’s bottom line. Their actionable insights save companies time and money because the ForeSee methodology pinpoints critical elements needing attention in order to improve customer satisfaction overall.

The good news about delivering bad news is that it may be the best way to keep your customers happy.

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About the Author

As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, Verint delivers superior technology and proven methodology to connect the customer experience to the bottom line. The result is better business for companies and a better experience for consumers.

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