Corona, Netflix & Zomato

While two brands delivered what they promised, Zomato failed to deliver the desired user/customer experience on a laid back Saturday evening. But that is just my perspective. It did make me think about brand experiences in that moment. So what happened that forced me to WRITE. Believe me it is a task to write about something that may sound trivial but is of immense value, specially if you have a digital brand.

I believe in the following format for narrating an experience:

  1. List down in bullet points as it happened.
  2. Do not bring in any judgement during narration.
  3. Do not attach any emotion while narrating the events.
  4. After the narration is complete, make a few key points and then start with the explanation of each point.
  5. Sum it up with a few bullet points again.

What happened?

  • I was tired after a long day of running errands and playing a round of golf. So I decided to watch Netflix, have a beer and order food.
  • I poured a pint (Corona) in a glass and put on Netflix.
  • Had recently read about a few movies to watch on Netflix, so narrowed down to watching “Triple Frontier”.
  • While the movie was on, I decided to order food from the Zomato app.
  • It took me 20 mins to decide and then another 2 (by 2 I mean it didn’t take much time) minutes to order.
  • After 30 mins got a call from the Zomato delivery guy that he is here with my order. My usual response is, to ask the Zomato guy to ring the door bell and the house help would collect the order from him.
  • To my surprise, the Zomato guy had reached my office instead of my house. Was it his fault? No not at all, in fact it was mine. But was it really my fault is what we are going to talk about.
  • Anyways, I asked him if he could now deliver it to my house which is about 5 km away from my office. But he explained that its not their policy to do so and he will also arrange for a call from the customer support team to talk to me about this.
  • Got a call from customer support and the agent explained that the rider cannot go further than the destination given in the order. She also told me that I would be charged for this order in my next order or I could collect the order from my office. The CHOICE was MINE to make.
  • So, I had to cancel the order.

So, what is the big deal, what am I trying to say?

I am trying to say, Corona delivered the taste it promised, Netflix delivered the content and engagement it promised and Zomato didn’t factor in that there are other things that the user might be doing while ordering and didn’t deliver the desired experience.

When I looked back at what had happened, I realised, unlike Amazon, Zomato does not give you an upfront option to confirm the address of delivery. If you have multiple addresses, it will not ask you which address. It will take the last address of delivery as the default address. I assumed, that since I am ordering from my residence, Zomato will take that address as default for delivery, in case it wants to take a default address.

In case other brands, have managed to engage and indulge you, you may overlook this tiny detail while ordering. And given the nature of the service they are dealing with, it may be a good idea to get a confirmation on both address of delivery and payment method before confirming the order.

So am I complaining? Do I want Zomato to not charge me?

Haha! yes and no.

I am not complaining for sure. But if Zomato does not charge for me for my next order, for the order that I cancelled, that would be great.

But, the point that I am trying to make is, even though I have ordered via Zomato many times, this happened for the first time. But had it given me that screen, there would have been lesser chances of me confirming the wrong address. Instead of focussing on reducing the number of steps for a checkout process, product managers should think about if the user has made an informed decision. This applies to not just Zomato but UX design in general for any product.

This also made me think about brand policies keeping the user journey in mind. Should you make policies where the user has to bear the cost of cancellation when its a genuine mistake. And the mistake is partly because of a User Interface choice that the company made.

Are companies aware of mistakes that customers can make because of UX choices that the brand makes? Are these policies just? Are these policies empathetic?

Conclusion

You must be thinking “but you were high”, you were bound to make more mistakes than the regular (full minded) customer.

I wasn’t high. I had just started sipping the beer. Also, the argument is not about being high, the argument is about being distracted. And yes in this day and age, we are distracted all the time. If its not Corona or Netflix, it could be WhatsApp or Facebook or a breaking news or a phone call. There will be enough things that will throw you off while performing a task on the phone. So while designing an important workflow where you want a user to take an informed decision, either have smart tech that supports you or don’t be afraid of adding a few extra steps, specially when there are monetary consequences for the customer..

Anyways, Corona was still cold and the movie on Netflix was doing fine.