Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bitter sweet consumerism

I love book stores. As a child I used to wander and wander them and still enjoy roaming past shelves and seeing the incredible array of topics on offer. However, I've not yet Lovemarked a book store. The reason why? Poor database-to-client-request and associated poor service.

I have edited my original post on this topic choosing to remove direct references to two business and to replace that with general points.

If I want to buy a CD that a music store doesn't hold, I can almost always order that in and receive the same ahead of the business receiving their usual order package. In other words, my individual need is catered to.

Not so the book selling business that these days also holds rights to say the sale of BBC DVD's. You can order but you will not receive until the business receives their own orders. This can mean waiting for up to six weeks.

What maintains my interest in the interim? In both the store and the product line?

After being told the wait time, do the sales staff guide you to similar DVD lines they DO currently hold on shelves?
Do they express empathy with your thwarted desire?
Do they explain what 'release dates' actually mean thus generating your greater patience (shared knowledge can be a good thing)?
Do they guide you to celebrating the time delay rather than being rueful about it?
Can they turn a potentially negative experience around?

One well known book store has an archaic database and simply cannot tell you whether a product is released or not. Their world begins and ends with a faulty database system. Another business can tell me if a product has been released, even if they don't have it in stock or on their usual order system. The first business cuts me off from the potential of ordering; the second offers potential.

A customer bind when you love the product but not the store the product comes from. Bitter sweet consumerism.

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