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16. "Tell Me the Info You Need"

Customers get very frustrated when they're transacting with you and you don't tell them the information you need them to provide, or the format that you need it provided in. They can waste a lot of time going backward and forward, "correcting things," to get a transaction accepted.

Blunders

Success through trial and error only

A customer decides to purchase a weekend holiday package at a hotel they've been wanting to stay at for ages. They call up the package information and click on "Buy Now." They receive a form which they can complete and send. The form asks for lots of different information, but some of it doesn't seem to apply particularly well to them, so they leave those particular fields blank. They complete the form and click "send." An error message comes back saying, "You have not filled in all of the necessary fields, try again." "Which fields?" the customer asks themselves. They engage in a process of trial and error to find out which fields have to be filled in.

The customer then gets to the point where all the fields are filled in and the form is still generating an error message. This time the error reads, "You have not entered information correctly, please try again." "Which information, and what format should it be in?" the customer now asks themselves. They go back and look at the fields most likely to be required in a different format, such as date and phone number. Trial and error reveals that the phone number shouldn't have had any spaces in it, and the form is finally accepted. Success at last!

The customer decides that, next time, it's probably easier just to call the toll-free number and organize it over the phone.

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