Customer Perspective: I Bent Over Backwards for a Pair of Flip Flops

I am hell bent on getting a new pair of Havaianas. They’re stunning and durable. My first pair lasted me at least five years! It almost hurts me to write about them considering I’m a fan of the product,

but there is a lesson to be learned about the customer journey in finding the right product….and in this case, a solution.

When my rubber soles were worn out to the point where my toes near done rubbed the pavement, I finally ordered a new pair. For international appeal, the sizing chart has US, European and Brazilian metrics. For my order, I looked at my weathered sole and saw “7/8″ so I thought there was no need to study a size chart they had available. I ordered a 7/8 which looked like this:

ordershoesize

I silently muttered a prayer every time I wore my flip flops, asking them to hang on until I got my new pair. I did a cartwheel when they arrived. But when I put them on, they were a size 6. Ouch, what an unfortunate mix up, I thought.  I checked the receipt: it still said it was 7/8. Huh?

I went on their website to read return policy which only elevated my confusion. I had to go to my account, print a label and return. If I wanted an exchange, I had to place a different order (so this wasn’t a real exchange). Problem? I did not have an account because I chose to check out my purchse as a guest. I had no records. I created one anyway in hopes it would magically appear, but it didn’t.

newflipflops

oldflipflop1
Customers want an immediate solution.

custservemail

I called the only phone number they had available: a toll number for taking orders. Customer service only had an email. Forget that. I wanted instant gratification and peace of mind that I would solve this ASAP. Someone did answer the toll number and gave me a password to use for my account, and my order history appeared!

But I took another look at the size chart order. Something didn’t match up. Why couldn’t I order a 7/8?

My guess would be the next size: a 9/10, right? But my old shoe also had a 39-40 (in a circle, see top left picture), which I thought matched up with my 7/8. What I didn’t realize that the different number locations stamped on the sole represented a different metric, so the circled numbers were Brazilian.  I was looking at the European 39/40. Oh, and I found out they were men’s sizes! If this is confusing you, that’s my point. There should be an urgent sign in the shopping cart that said check out THIS size chart which was not visible at all while I was browsing and buying a pair:

havshoesizechart

AHA.  Sure enough the customer service rep proceeded to tell me the same: order up one more size, the USA sizes stamped on the sole were for men. Thankfully, she did not “blame” me. Sure, I could have double checked, but customers like to find a product quickly and how was I supposed to know the sizing system worked awkwardly? A fine example of death by design creeping into the customer experience.

Even another size chart popped up during my navigation when I went to print my shipping label:

clearsizechart

Very helpful, but why are there three different visuals for sizing charts?

My old flip flops didn’t make it. RIP. However, because I love this product, I am waiting for my credit to return so I can make another order!

But not all products can overcome a slightly tainted customer experience. Take a moment to consider:

  • How easy is it to contact you or your customer service team to solve an issue?
  • Is your website navigation up to par? Are you tracking the process or getting similar complaints that indicate it’s time for an update? You want crystal clear.

For now, I’ll be the barefoot lady waiting impatiently for my next pair.

Anne

Addicted to adrenaline, adventures and social media, Anne Reuss is fueled by coffee and fitness. She likes to take videos with her trusty Apple products. Being Deaf, she has super human listening skills and is always on the lookout for ways to leverage social media to improve all around communication online and offline. She is the community manager for 360Connext, a customer experience consulting firm, and a freelance writer. She can lipread but tweet her first @Anne Reuss

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2 comments
anitahovey
anitahovey like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

They'd better be awesome... I wouldn't go through all that for flip flops. Now... a good bra...that's hard to find.

AnneReuss
AnneReuss

@anitahovey LOL. I feel you. Or a swimsuit! I've exchanged two items in the past month.

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