It feels good to finally be able to work on a laptop again! The past few days has been hell. I never thought how restless I would be without my device of choice. Somehow a tablet or a smart phone just cannot replicate the tactile feeling of typing and seeing things on a screen for me. Is this a sign of inadaptibility that I used to see in older folks?
My 5 year old MacBook Pro recently died an untimely death due to an unfortunate spillage accident. I was lucky that only the motherboard was fried, but my hard disk drive was left fortunately unscathed. As such, I managed to get back all my data and some system applications as well. Looks like I’m not going to give up on design as yet!
Anyways, what I really wanted to write about today was my experience with online shopping when buying my new MacBook Air. I felt my experience highlighted some pain points and gave rise to some thoughts about a complete Customer Experience in my mind.
Time taken to deliver was too long.
I had requested for some customisations on my laptop such as a RAM and storage upgrade, so I was expecting the delivery to take some time. What was interesting to me though, was that according to the order tracking, the customisation side of things actually took a pretty short time – 2 working days. The delivery however, took a really long time in comparison – 5 days.
Given that the laptop was shipped from Shanghai, and a flight from Shanghai to Singapore took only about 6 hours for a typical passenger, I was puzzled as to why it took so long for the laptop.
What I realised too, was that by Apple empowering me with a tracking code, I actually became more anxious for my shipment to arrive. When the shipment was eventually delayed, I was exasperated and disappointed.
Why does it take only 2 days for my Cards Against Humanity shipment to arrive while it takes such a long time for Apple?
It didn’t help that I was suffering from technology withdrawal symptoms and was anxious to get my hands on my laptop.
Uncertain delivery timings.
This became a problem because of the delivery delay. When I processed my payment, I was given the option to ship my MacBook to either my office during working hours, or to my home after working hours. This system went haywire when delivery was pushed to a Saturday, rendering working hours irrelevant.
What was curious to me was why Apple or the delivery company was unable to commit to a timing via SMS. I was sent a text saying, “Today’s the day. Items in order should be delivered today.” I am sure it could not have been too difficult to give a window of time to let me know when to expect the delivery!
I ended up waiting at home until 5pm. The delivery guy arrived at 7pm only to find an empty house because my family was out having dinner.
An improvement to the overall customer experience would have been to anticipate these problems and let the customer know ahead of time when the delivery is going to arrive. Granted, this might make delivery companies liable for late deliveries, but a wide window of a few hours would solve the problem and is better than no window at all.
In my personal online shopping experience, none of the eCommerce sites I have shopped at implement this except for NutriFirst. Letting the customer know when to expect a package would save a lot of angst on the part of the customer and minimize transportation costs incurred from a wasted trip.
What are some of your pet peeves in online shopping?