going pink (not just for October)

Pink for October

I’m guessing that most of you can’t even remember what my blog looks like, but I thought I’d let you know that I’ve *finally* got around to making my blog a little more personal (not that K2 isn’t a fine WordPress theme… it was time for a change).

It wasn’t really a particularly well planned exercise, and so I’ve unexpectedly found that I seem to have gone Pink, in October. So let’s pretend it was deliberate and I’ll say that I’ve Gone Pink For October.(Just don’t be surprised when November swings around and the pink goes nowhere!)

Now, I’m still ironing out a few bits and pieces (most noticeably, I can’t get my Archives page to work properly yet… even though I’ve achieved this on another blog elsewhere… ). I’d be interested to hear if you think this is an improvement and what you think you’d do differently. Oh, and what you like – I’d like to hear that too!

Don’t hold back. I’ve got a thick skin when it comes to anything design!

How a little change could make a big difference.

I ordered some tickets from Ticketmaster the other day. For reasons known only to them, the only delivery option I have is Secure Mail. A few days ago I got an email or a txt message to let me know that they were planning to make a delivery sometime within a ridiculously large window of time.

SMS from Secure MailOf course, TicketMaster doesn’t let me use my work address for delivery, it has to be the mailing address for my credit card. So, from the very beginning, I had a bad feeling about this. It was a pretty good assumption that I was going to be home when they wanted to make the delivery.

(Why do so many companies work on the utterly flawed idea that so many of us are so able or prepared to not go to work for a day in order to receive their services? Do so many people not work these days?)

This is Secure Mail’s explanation:

Your secure delivery will be made between 9am and 5pm. To increase security our delivery agents constantly change their delivery routes and times which means we are unable to give a specific delivery time.

OK, so security. At least it’s on brand.

This morning, I receive a text message from Secure Mail (Murphy’s Law, not fifteen minutes after I’d left the house to go to work). They informed me that they’d tried to deliver my tickets but, surprise, surprise, I wasn’t there. To rearrange delivery, they said, I should go to their website.

So I did.

Please tell me if you can see what I am supposed to do now?

SecureMail homepage

Yep, that’s the complete set of options on the Secure Mail website.

Where’s the bit that talks about re-delivery, missed a delivery, received an SMS? Any kind of keyword that I would see in this situation and identify that yes, that’s the right section for me.

As it happens, the section I’m supposed to go to is ‘Book your Delivery’. That made no sense to me as I was convinced that this was some kind of a courier service and that the Book Your Service was to initiate a courier service.

From what I can gather, SecureMail lets you know if they have something they need to delivery to you, either by If we are holding a secure mail item for you we will have let you know by text, calling card or letter.

What if, instead of saying ‘arrange delivery’ (even though that’s how the people at Secure Mail might think about it), you put a little section on that page that said something like ‘received an SMS, letter or calling card?’ or ‘did we miss you earlier? need to rearrange a delivery?’

I’m betting that a whole lot more people would find what is actually quite good functionality allowing me to re-schedule the delivery (even to my work address) on a day that suits me.

How could Secure Mail tell that this has worked? Well, I’d be looking for more transactions via the website and fewer phonecalls and contact form submissions. I’d be looking for shorter session times on the website, and less angry and frustrated customers.

OcardoAnd I’d be looking for blog posts the opposite of this – saying how great the Secure Mail service is because it let’s customers have more control over the crazy, annoying ‘we deliver when and where we want to, even though we’re delivering your stuff’ approach that far too many companies take.

More like the good stuff I’ll say one day about Ocardo, who let me choose a 1 hour window for my grocery delivery! What luxury is that. And they let me add items to my list after I’ve submitted my order! See, good delivery service. It can be done!

The trick is putting your customers at the centre of the design process.