25 June 2013

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, Where’s the self-help section? She said if she told me it would defeat the purpose.

George Carlin

The past two times I walked into a Barnes and Noble have been terrible experiences. I hope I never have to go again.

I walk into the store, once to buy a gift, the other to get a reference book for programming.

I find the book. Yay!

This is where the fun ends.

I take out my phone and check the Barnes and Noble website. Wow, they are selling the book for less than half the price of buying it in store.

So I go up to the register and say, “Hey Barnes and Noble, I’m about to pay $40 for a book that on your own website is listed at $18. Will you honor the web price?”

Nope. They won’t.

The customer experience has gone from: “I’m so excited to read this cool book” to “I’m such an idiot, if I was only slightly better at managing my time I wouldn’t have just thrown away $20.” Meanwhile, they are paying huge amounts of rent and salaries in order to deliver this miserable experience to customers.

When this is how you make your customers feel, your business is in trouble.