Target Text Gift Card: A Fail Experience
It is a great concept: send a gift card to someone using text messaging. That’s exactly what I wanted. I had a friend who was at a nearby Target, and wanted to send him a birthday gift certificate. As I consumer I was thrilled to be able to do something as cool as sending my friend an instant gift card and have him get it while on the phone with me. It didn’t work.
Target even created an iPhone app that allows one to send a text or email version of a gift card to a mobile-phone user. But what the company failed to tell me is that the transaction usually takes 24 hours to process! Yes, 24 hours. There’s nothing instant about that. I didn’t find that out until several hours and three different customer service calls to India later. In my mind there was nothing to process! You have my money, you have the recipient’s phone or email address, then send the darn email out. Now. Not 24 hours from now.
Great idea + poor implementation = fail. Marketing did its job promoting the product but IT (information technology) failed to deliver on it. After all, we can ship a package around the world in 24 hours. It’s ridiculous to expect that a text or email certificate needs the same amount of time to process.
I tried BestBuy‘s gift card option, and in less than 1 hour, my friend received his email confirmation.
Great ideas usually die on the crucible of bad implementation. Think about the great looking website that is slow and poorly organized, or a book that has a strong concept but that is tedious to get through. They are failed good ideas.
What about your product? Whether is physical product, an experience, or a promise. Are you delivering on the promises or do you need to tweak your system so what was a good idea will not fail because of implementation?
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