I look at it this way. As a marketer, I know that not every business should target every customer. If you try to please everyone, you please no one. So if a business isn’t making it easy for me to buy, then I must not be their target customer and they must not want my business.
Remember the old Jeff Foxworthy line, “You might be a redneck if…”? A similar line works well in this context.
You don’t want my business if…
You want to charge me $100 to ship $75 worth of merchandise – all of which is already in a box (i.e. not art or furniture). At least offer a “ship to store” option.
You want to sell me a truly beautiful, high quality rug in the four or five figure range… but have no way of sending a fabric or dye sample so that I can check to see if it will match the other fabrics in my room. The only option is to order the rug and hope it works, or pay a FOUR FIGURE restocking fee if it needs to be returned. (NOTE: I realize this is probably an industry standard. Fine. I am not your target customer.)
You take me through a detailed sales process with lots of one-on-one attention… and then ignore me when I inquire about why my deliveries are MIA, months off of the timeline you promised.
(This is my personal favorite)
You sell me a dispenser that takes refills… and then you stop selling the refills at our local store. You also take them off of your website, but you tell me that I am welcome to call a customer service representative who can tell me which stores across the nation still have the refills… and then I can call those stores and ask them to ship me the refills I want, if they still have them in stock.
This occurred just one year after I bought said dispenser. It blows my mind. Fine, discontinue the refills after a year – it happens and I understand that risk. But to put all of the work of tracking down your available stock back into the customer’s hands blows my mind. Seriously – there are at least four other ways you could have handled this situation that would not have left such a nasty taste in my mouth. I haven’t set foot in the store since and I make fun of them all the time.