Have you ever been in a supermarket, finished your shopping only to discover the card machine isn’t working? What about buying something online only to be told at the last minute that part of your order is unavailable? These kinds of hiccups are annoying at the best of times but particularly when it starts impacting your job. And, especially since the pandemic, our expectations for how easy buying something online should be have increased significantly.
It was hearing about experiences like this that got us thinking about what we could do to make sure no ETB customer is ever left pulling their hair out while using our website.
We’ve always had a high focus on customer experience and making sure our website is as good as it can be – we even won an award in 2015 for best ecommerce website at the Herald Scottish Digital Business Awards.
But it isn’t in our DNA to rest on our laurels, so we have continued to invest in the website. In 2021, we partnered with leading ecommerce agency, Digital Boutique, to completely refresh the site. The team brought a really strong focus on customer experience and we worked closely with them ensure we could provide the best possible journey before any development even started.
We’re proud of how the tools and processes on our site work, like our Configure Your Own tool, but it hasn’t been a quick or easy journey. We’ve put a huge amount of time and effort in to making everything work as smoothly as possible, learning from examples of industry best practice and our own data as we’ve gone.
However, just like when you’re baking a cake, if just one part of the process isn’t right, it will ruin the whole experience – even a perfect sponge will be ruined if the icing is made of mayonnaise.
That’s why we split the work we did into three pillars and took time to make sure every section was the best it possibly could be. Those three pillars all represented different parts of the customer experience:
So, what did we do and how did we make it work?
Getting you to the right part of the site
You can have the best-looking website in the world, but if nobody can find what they’re searching for then it’s not going to deliver great results. That’s why we’ve really focused on making the site as easy to navigate as possible. Our products are laid out in convenient groups based on the data we have around what users are looking for and we’ve made it simple to search based on specific criteria. If all else fails, our team (not a chatbot) is always on hand to help via the live chat, so you’re never more than a click away from help, if you need it.
Making sure you have a great experience
Once you’ve found the right part of the site, we want to make sure everything works, and works well. We’ve invested a lot of time making sure the tools we have available are effective and easy to use. If they are, you should find exactly what you need, nice and quickly. And where a more custom approach is required, we’ll make it as easy as possible. A big part of this is the Configure Your Own tool which we’ll talk about in more detail in a minute.
Following up with great customer service
There’s no point in doing the hard yards if the experience is spoiled after the purchase. In fact, according to just about every metric going, the one thing that will impact a customer’s overall experience more than any other is the after care. We won’t just disappear when the transaction closes - we’ll be on hand to make sure that what you’ve bought is exactly what you need and that it works exactly as it should.
Configure Your Own – the icing on the cake
While we’ve got several really useful tools you can use as you work your way through the sales process, our pièce de résistance is our Configure Your Own tool. This encompasses our entire approach to our website and online customer service.
We spoke to our customers and asked them what caused them the most challenges when using the ETB site. What came back was that a lot of orders were bespoke and made up of different specific components to suit a particular job.
Unlike a lot of businesses, we don’t have a ‘typical customer’. We cater to organisations of all different shapes and sizes, operating across a hugely diverse range of sectors. That means there are, generally, no two orders that look the same. This is where our Configure Your Own tool really earns its stripes.
Configure Your Own means you don’t need to rely on off the rack products that might not quite meet your needs. Whether it be a server, workstation or storage array, our tool allows you to quickly and easily build the perfect piece of equipment for your needs. What’s more, the tool will also generate a link so you can share the exact specifications, and price, with your team internally, hopefully making sign off process as straightforward and painless as possible. You can see exactly how easy it is to use by watching our video guide.
We’re really proud of how our website looks but, more importantly, how it works. But we’re always on the lookout for ways to make it better. And we want to hear from you. So, if you’ve used the site recently and have any thoughts on it – good or bad (but hopefully good) – then let us know, we’d really love to know what you think.