I spent 94 minutes on the phone to British Gas on Saturday morning, trying to set up paying for my bills for the 3rd time since I’ve moved into my new home, and couldn’t because of system issues their end. The guy at the end of the phone could not have been less bothered, and all I wanted to do was be able to go online and set up everything myself, but I couldn’t.
Going online is always my first port of call, anything that spares me giving my D.O.B umpteen times and spelling my postcode out more so. For the duration of the call, I sat in a state of denial, hitting the refresh button at 10 second intervals hoping some magical 5xx error state would relieve me of my frustration, trust me, this user experience gives 418 I’m a teapot a run for it’s money!!
This isn’t the only awful experience out there though, I mean there are so many, I’m sure as you’re reading this, you’re nodding your head and recalling a twitchy ‘I AM CALM’ online moment… So it got me thinking (not for the first time) what would make me happy, make you happy, and therefore all users of the World Wide Web… happy.
I’m the kind of person who will choose a restaurant with good food and excellent, personal service, over an excellent culinary experience but average service, every time. Over the last year or so I’ve started doing the same with shopping, I avoid shops with bad layouts and moody checkout chicks, I will pick theatres with nice door-staff and bar-staff and I will stay in hotels that have good concierge.
That’s what I believe we’re missing online; an online concierge service as standard, what could that protocol look like? As someone who obsesses with the detail when designing experiences, how could we democratise the luxury unrivalled personal service and exclusive privileges to save time and effort for everyone…
Well if I told you, I’d be out of a job, but you want it don’t you?
Now where’s my FAB 1… Home James!