DonnaM » Blog Archive » An end-to-end good user experience

An end-to-end good user experience

We hear so many bad stories about overall user experiences, but I wanted to tell you about one that was perfect from start to finish.

The story starts with a recent house move. For one reason or another my washing machine stayed at my old house, so I needed to buy a new one.

The things that I knew were important to me were, in order:

  • Front loader
  • Would fit in the space in my laundry
  • Washes well
  • As water-efficient as possible
  • As energy efficient as possible
  • Under $1000 (I had a small amount of money set aside from my grandfather)

I’ve been a subscriber to CHOICE magazine for about 18 years (and my mother subscribed since I was a kid, so I’ve practically always subscribed). I never make a big purchase without researching, and my main research is via CHOICE. Washing machines are one of their most demanded tests and they test regularly – the latest a few months ago. Their test had collected everything I needed – washing performance, size, energy- and water-efficiency, price. The washing machine information was easy to find on the website and it was dead easy to find a washing machine that matched all my criteria. So I picked the washing machine for me – without leaving home.

CHOICE also have a service called CHOICE shopper. This service helps you to get the best price for a product. I phoned them up, talked to a fantastic lady who ran me through the process, collected all the details and promised to phone back by the next morning. She didn’t even get cross with me when I told her I hadn’t actually been out looking, which is what I was meant to do.

Well, talk about good service. She phoned me back later that afternoon. She had found a price $209 cheaper than the RRP, and with delivery was $179 cheaper. I confirmed that I was happy to go ahead with the purchase. She said the retailer would phone me in the next day or so and arrange delivery.

It is the edges where things can fall apart, and I wondered when it would happen. But the retailer phoned me that same day (I won’t plug them, because I don’t know if that is OK for the CHOICE shopper folks, but they are real good guys). Another friendly lady confirmed the washing machine and price, took my credit card details, arranged for the best delivery day, told me how warranty worked and that they would send an invoice. She said the delivery person would phone me the night before when he had figured out his route.

So, still waiting for things to crack at the edges, I checked messages when I got home from IA cocktail hour. And there it was, a promise to deliver between 1&3pm Friday. Cool.

So Friday rolls around and I’m working at home, still wondering if something was going to go wrong. At 1.05pm the doorbell rang and there was my washing machine and two friendly fellows. So I thought they’d bring it in and leave it in the laundry and I’d have to figure out how to install it. Not likely – they pulled it out of the box, removed the holding bolts, brought it inside and installed it. All I needed to do was sign the paperwork. (they even took away the rubbish)

And nothing went wrong. Every person through the whole process was friendly and met their commitments. 4 companies were involved and all were amazing. How good is that!

[Follow up: not only did all that good stuff happen - the retailer phoned me to make sure it was all OK]

7 Responses to “An end-to-end good user experience”

  1. Lisa Says:

    This is a great story! and I’m so happy for you, these are the experiences that can be just too stressful.

    I really need to subscribe to choice. I’ve been saying it for years.

  2. NathanaelB Says:

    Wow, that’s amazing! I don’t blame your pessimism – but that is so awesome that all that with so many people and companies involved went smoothly. Wonder how they managed that???

  3. robert Says:

    I don’t understand. You claim to understand “usability” and “interaction”, yet you don’t live within an acre of another human *(let alone your own family).

    Move to a city, and see how real people interact.

    Maybe then your words might have some meat behind them. Until then you are an ignorant kid making it up as you go along.

    Lucky for you, none have been wiser.

    I read quite a bit of your pages (by chance), and most is mindless drivel of a person that little clue as to how most of the “real” world interacts.

    I wish you the best though.

  4. robert Says:

    Old school – didn’t proof read prior to posting – sorry for the poor grammar/typos :)

  5. Donna Maurer Says:

    Wow Robert. That’s the oddest comment I have ever had. I now live in the city, with my daughter (she’s family, I’m sure), hang out with people often and have plenty of clue about how the real world interacts ;)

  6. robert Says:

    Good to hear. I was basing that on old information. I didn’t think anyone with a 3 acre lot could be living in the city. Sounds more like a person keeping people away, than dealing with them in close proximity.

    Cities are basis of civilization. People that don’t, and who have never lived in them, thoughts should be highly suspect – especially those related to human interaction.

  7. J. Parsons Says:

    Ever now and thing, some things are bound to go right. But speaking as someone who’s lived in both urban and rural environments, I’ve always found the interactions with other humans tend to go much better in areas where they aren’t jammed into overpopulated, overstressed situations. Stress is always there, but it’s the degree and kind. You don’t have to live in the middle of the swarm to be knowledgeable about interaction and usablility and to chastise someone like Robert is doing, I think, shows a profound lack of understanding.

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