Auditing the Customer Experience

As I get closer to opening my business to the public, I am going through a process of auditing the customer experience. My eventual goal is to make the process seamless, but right now it is important just to create a process.

I’m focusing on the experience from the moment they place an order to the moment it arrives and they pay for it. I’ll discuss marketing in a later post.

Step 1 — Placing an Order

I have created an order form using Type Form. I have tried to make the process as easy as possible given the fact that I need to collect a lot of information from the customer.

I split up the data collection to quick 1 line answers. For example address and zip code are different fields to make things easier on mobile. I also changed the order of the questions so that they have a flow to them. The norm is to ask for NAP (name, address, phone) first, but I’m starting the form with pick up and delivery questions and then asking the NAP later.

Right now I haven’t linked the form to any other software but I plan on adding their email to a Mailchimp list as well as all of their information to a Google spreadsheet automatically. Once these tasks are automated it will be much easier for me to keep track of the orders.

Step 2 — Accepting an Order

When an online order comes in the first step is to confirm the telephone number via text message. Text message communication is going to be crucial for my business especially since I will be making deliveries and need to meet people in person to give them their clothes.

Text message combined with email also means that I essentially have 2-factor identification for every customer immediately upon the first order. The text message will be typed by a human. I don’t want to automate this part of the process because I want the initial communication from my company with my customer to be authentic. In addition, there may be errors on the form or things that need clearing up, which should be covered in that initial text message.

During my test run this actually happened. My brother filled out the form for same day delivery. I also found another error on my form where I ask for name and he only put in his 1st name. I fixed it so it asks for full name now.

Once confirmed, the next step is to create a customer welcome kit which consists of a laundry bag and a tag with their NAP attached to it.

Step 3 — Picking up and Processing an Order

I need to have a scale with me when I go pick up laundry orders just in case they want me to give them an estimate or even an invoice. Right now I am leaning towards giving them an estimate because I use Square and their invoicing sucks. When you write an invoice on square it can only be paid online. I can’t go back to that customer and have them pay it to me in person anymore. I know there is other invoicing software but I don’t want to spend the time learning or worrying about it when an estimate will suffice.

So I show up at their house with a starter kit and have them fill it up with laundry, or take their basket and transfer the clothes to the bag myself. I don’t want to deal with baskets because that’s how clothes get lost. They are also bulky and take up a lot of space. Polyester laundry bags are the best, and it took me going through several different types of bags and a couple hundred bucks to figure this out.

Once I have the laundry in my possession I need to weigh it and itemize the dry cleaning. This will allow me to both give them an estimate and keep track of the more expensive items. I will create an internal invoice with this information that I can find easily on my phone for delivery.

Then I need to take the clothes to the cleaners. When I drop the bag off I need to remove the tag with their NAP on it and attach it to the receipt the cleaners give me. Now in my possession will be just the tag and the receipt.

Step 4 — Delivery and Payment

When I arrive at the customer’s house with their order the most important thing is to confirm that it is their order. I don’t know why but I’m super paranoid about losing people’s clothes or accidentally switching tags and taking the wrong clothes to the wrong house.

I want to put in fail safe checks along the way in the process to make sure this doesn’t happen. Confirming that the clothes are theirs is the final check. Once confirmed, I need to pull up the invoice and plug in the numbers into the Square register.

Once paid Square automatically emails them the receipt and the transaction is completed.

I needed to write this to have a better sense of the process before I formalize it. I’m just doing test runs and I’m sure lots of things will come up along the way and I may have to come back and edit this post to make it accurate or write up the formal process at some point.

In the meantime, I have to get back to work. If you want to follow a little more closely, I’m on Snapchat everyday.

This story is part of a series documenting the journey of a 2016 Dallas startup called Feather. If you would like to read more, here is the Table of Contents for the series.

Previous story: What to do When Others Slow You Down

Next story: January 2016 Summary

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