Not Evangelism

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

User Experience Starts Long Before the Front Page

...or the front door, even.

Last weekend, there was an advert in the Sunday Times Travel section - a full page, colour advert - for a company that will fly you 'round less-accessible destinations in Australia in a private plane.  Prices start at over £10,000.  It's a glossy advert, with some nice photography.

It also contains the non-word "passangers" (the eighth word in the second paragraph).

Attention to detail?  Perhaps.  But if I'm going to be flying over a country/continent as large as Australia, in a small aircraft, I want to know that I'm doing so with a company that addresses all the small details.  Especially for a five-figure sum.  Per person.

Some years ago, I requested a brochure from a luxury hotel.  I gave my name and address details, and when the envelope arrived, it was addressed to "Dr Andy Fryer", as I'd put on the contact sheet. Good start.

Unfortunately, the letter inside was addressed to "Mr Andy Fryer".  Worse, because the envelope had a window - the address was printed on the letter within - I was holding a letter addressed to "Dr Andy Fryer" that, a few lines below, began "Dear Mr Andy Fryer".

Attention to detail again?  Indeed.  And I've not stayed at that hotel.  Because for the kind of prices that they charge, I expect the attention to detail to be greater than that.

The point of these (true!) stories is that my user experience with those businesses stopped right there; at the first encounter; in this case, the marketing material.

A user's experience starts before your front door, before your home page.  And ends long after too; impressed customers will talk about their experience with you years after the fact.

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