Following the news this week that Trading Standards had seized 15,000 unsafe hoverboards brought into the UK, Amazon was quick to announce that any of their customers who had bought one of the self-balancing scooters should dispose of the product safely at a local recycling centre.
While commendable of Amazon to react so speedily, it’s also surprising that they haven’t joined up the process by providing customers with clear guidance about how they can refund their purchases. It’s estimated that around half a million people in the UK have already bought hoverboards as gifts, so Amazon potentially faces tens of thousands of additional customer contacts in the busy run-up to Christmas.
As of Thursday evening there was nothing on the Amazon home page to help guide hoverboard customers through the refund process. In a way this is quite unlike Amazon, who normally go out of their way to deflect demand to self-service channels. A simple home page announcement or a video telling customers quickly what they should be doing now would be really useful, and would also help shield their already busy contact centre who are probably already being battered by concerned customer voice calls and webchats.
This example shows just how important it is to develop clear customer journey maps that can be activated when organisations experience high demand volumes generated by a known issue. It’s at times like this especially that customer contact and digital marketing teams need to be working together - offering immediate support for customers, reducing effort and turning a potential CSAT dip into a more positive experience.