Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.80.6.254

Forum Moderators: buckworks

Message Too Old, No Replies

Customers! Can you read!

Christmas time moans

     
7:02 am on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 19, 2003
posts:3217
votes: 18


I have a site that sells low value goods that are heavy, as a result I ship via royal mails surface option to the states.

Its clearly stated on the front page and under every product theres a link saying click here for shipping information, not only that but before you checkout at the cart theres a paragraph explaining the shipping times.

It even says that if you require faster shipping please order and then email me.

But does anyone read that? Ive had two customers this week badgering for their orders. I.e will it arrive before Christmas?

No.

Cant you read?

What is it with people.

[edited by: Essex_boy at 7:03 am (utc) on Dec. 18, 2006]

1:07 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 5, 2004
posts:375
votes: 0


its is strange that people requiring goods before Christmas dont bother to read the shipping details. Im lucky that most products bought for gifts can be sent express mail
1:14 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 27, 2002
posts:1187
votes: 0


How about, I can't find you phone number on your site! Call me!

People read and it does not register.....

1:31 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 8, 2005
posts:68
votes: 0


Short answer is people don't read. The problem is that there is a lot of information to get across on a site - product info, pricing, delivery, returns, terms etc. Right now we have phone calls every few minutes from people asking if they order today, will they get it by Christmas - this is despite there being huge signs all over the site announcing the last order dates! And in many cases they've seen the notices but are just phoning to check - it's understandable I guess, and each call usually results in an order, so I can't really complain about that!

All you can do is make the important information as clear and obvious as possible, and accept that your US customers (and anyone using AOL!) are not going to read it!

4:53 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:June 29, 2001
posts:2145
votes: 0


>>>>And in many cases they've seen the notices but are just phoning to check - it's understandable I guess, and each call usually results in an order, so I can't really complain about that!

We will take phone orders all day if we can. Nothing like the human touch to close a sale.

5:50 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:July 31, 2003
posts:668
votes: 0


How about this one?

Customer chooses a personalized widget in a color that is clearly indicated as not being available in the size they selected. And, customer does not provide any personalization details. This widget is of a kind that is useless if not personalized.

On top of that, customer wants priority shipping.

Finally, customer does not provide an email address or a phone number to contact them.

7:27 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:June 29, 2001
posts:2145
votes: 0


>>>>On top of that, customer wants priority shipping.

>>>>>Finally, customer does not provide an email address or a phone number to contact them.

Sounds like a Nigerian order.

Do they type in CAPS too?

9:41 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 30, 2005
posts:515
votes: 0



Customer chooses a personalized widget in a color that is clearly indicated as not being available in the size they selected. And, customer does not provide any personalization details. This widget is of a kind that is useless if not personalized.

On top of that, customer wants priority shipping.

Finally, customer does not provide an email address or a phone number to contact them.

One could argue that these are deficiencies in your ordering logic rather than customer incompetence.

If an option is not available, why let a customer select it at all?
If details are required, why let an order go through without them?

Why make it even easier for a customer to do something wrong?

9:45 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 28, 2004
posts:7999
votes: 0


Clearly stated on main page, all shopping pages, and right next to where you enter CC number:

"[companyname] accepts only Visa and Mastercard." (with logos nearby.)

Incoming email: "So are you telling me you don't accept American Express?"

:-)

More recent, customer ordered and delivered by Express, didn't get package, and sent about the nastiest email I've ever seen. Bottom line, USPS attempted to deliver it twice BEFORE the estimated delivery date and no one was there to receive it either time. All she had to do was enter the tracking number we sent her to find this out.

Which she never read.

She was pretty humbled after that.

But we still love them, we understand their time is more important than anything we can do and shouldn't be bothered to read a few words or sentences that enhance their experience. How rude of us, we are truly ashamed.

[edited by: rocknbil at 9:46 pm (utc) on Dec. 18, 2006]

9:46 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:July 31, 2003
posts:668
votes: 0


Sounds like a Nigerian order.

Do they type in CAPS too?

No, they didn't type in CAPS. Usually, the Nigerian orders are for thousands of widgets. This one is for a single widget.

10:57 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 19, 2005
posts:367
votes: 0


Short answer is people don't read.

True, some don't read, but most of those that do cannot comprehend what they are reading. Four decades of "dumbing down" public education has come home to roost.

12:52 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 8, 2005
posts:833
votes: 0


Four decades of "dumbing down" public education has come home to roost.

Well, that may be part of it, but in my day job working with medical research articles, if there's a stupid mistake made with a manuscript because someone didn't follow the instructions it's a sure bet that it was done by a Ph.D. or M.D. If something comes from the doctor's secretary it'll be done right - because the secretary reads the instructions! In my dozen years of working with doctors, I'm sure there've been some exceptions to this, but I can't think of any. The advent of email hasn't helped matters; Doctors trying to type their own letters - The Horror! ;)

That's not ecommerce related, but maybe that's the point - no matter where you go, there they are.

3:46 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 19, 2005
posts:367
votes: 0


no matter where you go, there they are.

Believe me I know...got my hands on a reading comprehension test this year and gave it to my order fulfillment employees. Guess what...most of them failed with flying colors.

Needless to say, I have made some personnel changes since then. At least now all I have to put up with is stupid questions from customers already answered in bold print on the website...instead of irate customers calling about mis-packed orders.

4:51 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:July 14, 2003
posts:1783
votes: 0


Oh, yeah. I don't operate an ecommerce site, but I can certainly empathize.

There's a Contact link on our site. The first paragraph on the Contact page reads, "This form is for contacting the staff at Widgets.com. We do not sell widgets, repair widgets, provide appraisals for widgets, or sell widget parts."

The second paragraph reads, in bold red letters, "THIS FORM IS FOR CONTACTING THE STAFF AT WIDGETS.COM. WE DO NOT SELL WIDGETS, OR WIDGET PARTS, DO APPRAISALS ON WIDGETS, OR REPAIR WIDGETS."

In the text box for the Contact email, all of the above is repeated for a third time.

So, what emails do I get?

Subject line: "I'm looking to buy a blue widget. Do you have one?"

Subject line: "How much do widgets cost?"

Subject line: "Widget"

Subject line: "Wgt"

8:49 am on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 11, 2006
posts: 37
votes: 0


I personally hate it when they place orders and then ask "can it be delivered for Christmas".

It's harder to turn away cash in the bank.

4:04 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 28, 2002
posts:1763
votes: 0


I really hate to bash customers, but here's one recurring theme that drives me crazy:
---------------------------------------------
Customer: "I need pants. I'm kinda tall."

Us: "Some of our pants come in tall sizes."

Customer: "That's great. Now, can you give me all measurements." (we waste a ton of time doing this)

Us: "By the way, how tall are you?"

Customer: " 6'9" (very matter of factly)"

--------------------------------------------
Of course, off-the-rack pants, even in tall sizes, aren't going to fit someone THAT tall.

Why do you always have to pry critical pieces of info from customers?

4:36 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 19, 2005
posts:367
votes: 0


It was posted on our website that yesterday was the very last day we could guarantee delivery by Christmas. I am keeping a count of how many emails or special instructions we get something to the effect of...

"I MUST get these by Christmas, it is a gift"

So far today we have gotten 5....the day after the cutoff date.

9:24 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

joined:Oct 25, 2005
posts:498
votes: 0


The reason this occurs is because customer service is not really about just getting the facts strait and ordering in a smooth manner.

Lots of people need to interact with you for one reason or another before they will purchase. These reasons can be good or bad depending upon the person. What gets irritating is when you assume that they are so stupid that they cant read or see obvious information. They are probably not missing the obvious, rather they are giving you their drama.

The drama can be anything, some dont like paying and want you to work for the sale, others like to cause problems or need everything in a super rush and order at the last minute to stimulate themselves and make things feel exciting or super important, some are lonely people who want the extra attention, others are sceptical about the web and are chatting to pass the time or to reduce their fears...

9:35 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 16, 2003
posts:485
votes: 0


Why do you always have to pry critical pieces of info from customers?

Perhaps you should have asked him how tall he was after he said he was kind of tall.

Something along the lines of "we do have some styles that are available in talls. How tall are you?" You know that you don't carry anything that would fit a customer that tall, but the customer doesn't know that.

A customer knows his experience. Tall customers have experienced pants that are *long enough* but still fit horribly their entire lives. That's because many clothing manufacturers just make the legs longer, without changing the length of the rises or how the legs get proportioned.

12:57 am on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 28, 2002
posts:1763
votes: 0


Perhaps you should have asked him how tall he was after he said he was kind of tall.

How would you feel if a friend fixed you up with a blind date with a "kinda tall girl" who turned out to be 6'9"? Sometimes more precise info needs to be offered.

BTW, we sell a lot of womens clothing and there are limits to what one (even a woman) can ask about body build.

2:31 am on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:June 26, 2005
posts:83
votes: 0


How would you feel if a friend fixed you up with a blind date with a "kinda tall girl" who turned out to be 6'9"?

Geez, talk about Shallow Hal... bring her on!

3:03 am on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 16, 2003
posts:485
votes: 0



How would you feel if a friend fixed you up with a blind date with a "kinda tall girl" who turned out to be 6'9"? Sometimes more precise info needs to be offered.

Friend: I want to fix you up with a girl. She's kind of tall.

Me: Oh yeah? How tall?

3:25 am on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 28, 2002
posts:1763
votes: 0


Given all my mostly-inane hours on WebmasterWorld, I'd fall more into the "bring her on" camp too.
10:32 am on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 28, 2004
posts:7999
votes: 0


BTW, we sell a lot of womens clothing and there are limits to what one (even a woman) can ask about body build.

LOL . .sorry I am horrible about going O.T. but my wife used to work at a large retail clothing store, women would bring clothes back complaining they were mismarked, "This says it's a size 8, it ain't no freakin size 8!" And the woman would clearly be at LEAST a size 10. :-)

So even if you ask, will they be telling the truth?

1:41 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 16, 2003
posts:485
votes: 0



LOL . .sorry I am horrible about going O.T. but my wife used to work at a large retail clothing store, women would bring clothes back complaining they were mismarked, "This says it's a size 8, it ain't no freakin size 8!" And the woman would clearly be at LEAST a size 10. :-)

Except that there are no defined standards for what "size 8" and "size 10" mean. She may very well have been a size 8 in many lines.

2:24 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 28, 2002
posts:1763
votes: 0


Except that there are no defined standards for what "size 8" and "size 10" mean.

I know that the U.S. gov't does have size standards for military bidding and maybe other purposes. True, the National Bureau of Standards doesn't have a platinum-iridium size 8 dress form.

But the major chains have standards and will break your legs if your size 8 dress is too skimpy. JC Penney runs very exhausting tests to assure that suppliers are on spec.

Moreover, many department stores charge suppliers for every defective garment they send back. Some stores make big money on returns!

2:57 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 8, 2005
posts:833
votes: 0



Except that there are no defined standards for what "size 8" and "size 10" mean. She may very well have been a size 8 in many lines.

I have a friend who has two "problems" I don't have: she's rich and she's thin (I think there's a saying about that...) She's always bought her clothes in expensive shops selling expensive lines but is now faced with "vanity sizing," where many expensive clothes lines mark their clothes as a smaller size than they really are. Since she already wore the smallest size available, she's now basically sized out of buying their clothes at all.

The differences in sizing is one reason a lot of people won't buy clothes over the internet. Sites that sell a variety of brands (instead of stuff that's made specifically for their company) have the biggest problem. -- The people I can't understand are the ones who buy clothes in a store and save five minutes by not trying them on - then have to spend an hour going back to the store to exchange them because they don't fit.

4:47 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 16, 2003
posts:485
votes: 0


I know that the U.S. gov't does have size standards for military bidding and maybe other purposes. True, the National Bureau of Standards doesn't have a platinum-iridium size 8 dress form.

US Military standards on sizing are irrelevant, unless you are a soldier getting a uniform. (Actually, military anthropomorphic data can be used to set the average measurements for a given size, but that doesn't really help for reasons discussed below.)

But the major chains have standards and will break your legs if your size 8 dress is too skimpy. JC Penney runs very exhausting tests to assure that suppliers are on spec.

How JC Penney handles sizing is different than how Target handles sizing is different than how JCrew handles sizing. See the problem?

While *some* department stores *may* have set sizing standards that they mandate to their house brands and to their external suppliers, those standards are not consistent across different brands/stores/other entities.

Unless and until a majority of manufacturers decide upon a set of standards for sizing, the problem is going to stay.

Furthermore, there *is* no solution to the sizing consistency problem for women's clothing. "Size 8" is a weak attempt to formulate a garment that fits the "average" woman of "average" proportions. The problem is, even in that middle size, there are HUGE variations in body type and weight distribution. A "normal" size 8 will have too much fabric around the bust for a small chested woman and way too little for a large chested woman. (That's just one example, there are many, many others.)

If manufacturers wanted to create a standard they would need to scrap the dress size nomenclature and go to something more complicated. But, they haven't and they won't, because more complexity puts more burden on customers than they want to bear. It also forces retailers to carry wider, shallower inventory than they want.

So, the net is that manufacturers end up designing clothing that fits women of a certain body type better than women of another body type. That's one of the reasons why when women find a brand that fits them the way they want, they are intensely loyal.

The problem gets even worse as the sizes gets larger. A while back, we looked at doing a plus-size line. I brought in numerous fitting models that were roughly to try and formulate our middle-size offering (2X in a 1X-3X line). The variations in body sizes and types made fitting a nightmare. So much so that we abandoned the project. Two women of the same height and, say, waist measurement could have significant differences in bust, arm, thigh, and calf circumference for example.

Sizing for women is not a trivial problem and both manufacturers and retailers that understand and can navigate the issues will have more success than those who cannot.

If you sell clothing to women, you must learn how to talk to them about the fitting issues in a langauge that is familiar to them. You need to learn what clothing types are going to flatter them the most and which styles they should lean towards and which they should avoid. For many women, finding clothing that fits properly has been a lifelong frustration and talking to someone that understands that and can help them will often give you a lifelong customer and a product evangelist.


Moreover, many department stores charge suppliers for every defective garment they send back. Some stores make big money on returns!

I don't understand.

How does a department store make money on garments sent back due to manufacturing defects?

*Customer* returns to a department store are generally not due to defects. They are because of the thousand and one different reasons, usually having to do with fitting or appearance.

Some department stores negotiate sell-through agreements with manufactures that stipulate that they can return any items which haven't sold in X time frame. That's a great deal for stores but not such a good deal for manufacturers. After all, the manufacturer has nothing to do with the merchandising of the product - if a store overprices or undersells, they get left holding the bag.

Its one of many reasons we don't wholesale our goods to large chains. No margins, too much risk.

5:01 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 16, 2003
posts:485
votes: 0



...but is now faced with "vanity sizing," where many expensive clothes lines mark their clothes as a smaller size than they really are.

The concept of "vanity sizing" is more or less a misunderstanding of how clothing lines determine their sizes. It doesn't really have anything to do with making the wealthy feel smaller than they are.

I've probably expounded on women's clothing sizes more than is needed for a board focused on ecommerce. If you are interested in the topic further, please sticky me and I'll share links to a lengthy discussions on the topic by industry professionals.

10:28 am on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 28, 2005
posts:164
votes: 0


The thing that differentiates size for retailers is their customer base.

Is it selling to teenagers / young women / women with kids / business women / elderly women. General body shapes for these different groups - break it down a hundred different ways - is different although you are likely to be able to buy a size 12 in all of them.

I bet the size 12 for the teenager will be an entirely different fit than the one for the elderly woman because you have to take different factors into account. Fashion versus comfort is one.

Now the high street generally gets round this problem by branding themselves a teen shop / high class womens outfitters / traditional retailer for elder customers etc. and so the teen doesn't get the wrong fit and neither does the elderly woman (in the majority of cases).

So perhaps it is your site branding that isn't working or your product range is too diverse so that customers don't know who you are targetting and therefore buying ill-fitting clothes.

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33