[Interview] Nick’s experience as an online shopper

What do you buy online? Why and how often?

My online purchases cover quite a wide range. They’re usually fairly low cost, single items from a single retailer (often Amazon due to its wide portfolio and I have Amazon Prime so I get ‘free’ next day delivery). I’m considering making the plunge into groceries what with the improvements of accessibility and ease from supermarkets in the UK. I would say I make online purchases fortnightly.

What was the last thing you bought online?

Arm iPhone holder for running!

What do you expect from customer service? And from online customer service?

An instant response is fundamental – I only shop online when looking for something specific, rather than browsing. Not having an immediate answer to a question would likely make me look elsewhere. This is the number one requirement from online customer service. Chat is a good option, so is a call back service. I don’t want or expect to have to call or email myself.

What was your best/ worst experience of online customer service and why?

My worst online customer service experience was when I bought some kitchen scales online for a gift; they didn’t work. The company had no contact details aside from a message sending portal on their website which spewed out automated responses after 72 hours. The problem was never resolved.

To what extent does the quality of customer service impact your decision to buy?

The quality of customer service definitely impacts my decision to buy very highly. I would definitely pay that little but more to get a lot more in terms of customer service.

What kind of thing can put you off when buying online?

I’m put off by confusing or non-functioning websites as well as websites that seem non-secure. I would also be negatively impacted if a company is unethical.

Which online communication channels do you prefer/ use most often?

Whatsapp, email, phone in descending order…

What do you think about live chat? Do you enjoy using it?

I much prefer to live chat on a website rather than having to call a number or write an email – the immediacy of the service is excellent for online shopping as this tends to be a functional activity (i.e I only really online shop when I want something, not really to ‘browse’ so I am pursuing instant gratification).

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