Several electronic products needed registration over the holiday period and most give a web site reference for registration; bearing in mind this is perhaps the first experience of the organisation one gets you think it would be a good thing to get right.
On two occasions the websites failed to allow an account to be registered and so followed a phone call only to be held in a queue for ages and an abandoned call. For the first organisation in the end the post card was filled in a stamp applied and the old fashion contact strategy used. A mail was sent pointing out this rather daft situation and I still await a reply with bemusement.
The second company a well known camera manufacturer with the initial letter "N" where having failed to set up an account to register I tried to email a message through "contact us" only to be told I need to register an account to send a message - oh dear!
OK next step use the phone, having listened to a message about defrosting frozen pipes for 3 or 4 minutes, remember this is a N**** camera , I eventually get through to an operative in a general maintenance and warranty company who is operating this outsourced activity on behalf of this photographic manufacturer, who to be fair to her registers the product quite efficiently.
On mentioning the website failure she says " nothing to do with us sir but I can put you through to N**** to talk to them" reply "no thanks I have wasted enough time on this already sorry; Oh by the way what has frozen plumbing got to do with photography?" answer " I didn't know we had that message running and as we operate insurance for plumbing cover that's probably why it is there".
So apart from this "Meldrew rant" what is the point of this post from a business design perspective?
Do any of these large corporates every really realise what their customer experience is really like. Customer journeys must be mapped correctly and clearly understood else the consequence is creates serious confidence and brand damage particularly for a prestigious brand like the photographic manufacturer in discussion here.
The second observation is that outsourcing, although saving costs, can create a disparate customer experience with processes and activities operating in non communicating silos.
The third observation is if you use a web site to stand at arms length from your clients for please ensure other channels of communication are easy to access as not only are you alienating your customers but you don't even know you are doing it and can't be given constructive criticism - blissful ignorance and corporate group think prevail yet again.
My summary message from all of this is "for goodness sake step outside and look in because from out here it looks pretty bad".