A few years back I placed an online order with Best Buy. What a disaster! They wouldn’t deliver it to my home because it was the week before Christmas, so I had to pick it up at a local store. They sent me an email saying it was there, but when I went to pick it up, the item was out of stock! Amazingly, they don’t save the item for you. Then they wouldn’t give me a refund! They issued me a store credit instead. Now I don’t have the gift I wanted, and I don’t have the cash to buy it somewhere else.
I went home and purchased the gift on Amazon along with a few other items. The order arrived at my house in two days.
Now one of the DVDs I purchased for my daughter, she already had. My wife went to the website and was given option for contacting customer service. She asked for them to call her. In five minutes they called her back, gave her a refund and paid for the return postage.
These two stories explain why Amazon is experiencing explosive growth and Best Buy is struggling to survive.
Amazon understands that they no longer selling products. They are really selling an entire package that includes both the product and the related service. Concentrating on making it easier for the customer has provided Amazon with a strong strategic advantage over its competitors.
Lesson to be learned: How can you make it easier for your customer to buy? Study every step in your customer’s buying experience with you. Look for places where you can make it easier for your customer. Ask your best customers how you can improve their experience. Hire a secret shopper and instruct them to tell you in detail about their experience. Buy from your competitors to see what they do better.