UX/UI Design

Do you really mean it when you say Contact Us?

Michael Collins

I’m trying to find the status of a shipment. The information in my online account is confusing. I think I’ll call them. 

Great! I’ve got all these options. Surely I’ll be able to connect with someone. Hmm. No number though. 

I’m working on my desktop so I’ll go for the chat. And look, no wait time! 

After agreeing to their terms about chat, I asked about my shipment. (The screens here are from my third attempt. (The first time I put in “Hi! Can you please help me with the shipping status of my order?”) By this time I knew there wasn’t anyone there.) I got a link to my Order Status. I clicked on it to see where it would take me thinking it was going to be a magical place where it shows all the information. No. It was the same place I had begun. When it gives you an answer it gives you limited responses to go further or you can click on New Question. Well, this doesn't really chat, does it? Click on New Question. Another screen. Are you sure? Yeah, yeah I am sure. I want to talk to a human. Comes back with How can we best help? The options for the response have nothing to do with humans or shipping status. I give up on the chat. 

Okay. Let’s try Facebook Messenger. Hmm. You’ll get to see my public profile. On second thought, do I really want you to connect with me through Facebook? No. Forget that one. 

On to Talk to Us. Oh. I guess they have to call me. Okay. No problem. The default number is (999) 090-9090. Whose number is that? Is that supposed to indicate number format to enter? Isn’t 999 emergencies services in the UK? I’ll choose my telephone number. Now I have to select a topic. I’ll choose Other. Hmm. Shipment status isn’t under there. After clicking through the other topics I settled on Order and Change Service with a subtopic of Order Status. Now When would you like us to call? I’m ready now so right now. Oh, the closest I can get is As soon as agent is available. The other options are Later today and Tomorrow. I’ll do this one. 


Thank you. Your call is scheduled for: 

The first time I did this was mid-June at 7:40 am thinking I’d be able to get a call in the next hour. Nope. 11:45 am. I have a meeting scheduled for then. Can I reschedule or cancel? Nope. At client’s place... I forgot to turn the phone on do not disturb. 11:45 am. Vibrate. Silence it. 11:50 am. Vibrate. Silence it. 11:55 am. Vibrate. Silence it. Look embarrassed. “Do you need to get that?” No. It’s a good example of user experience that needs to be tweaked.


Tip #1: When using a chatbot let people know it is a bot. Allow a way for the user to connect with a human. 


Tip #2: Give users other ways to connect on social besides Facebook Messenger. 


Tip #3: Allow the ability to reschedule or cancel the time an agent would call. Not doing so send a message that it is all about you.


About the Author
Michael Collins
Michael Collins

I’ve been working in the creative and digital space for 26 years in varying positions from graphic designer, web designer (UI)/developer, Development Manager, Director of Product Strategy (UX), Creative Director, and agency owner. Before that, I worked in business administration. Out of all those my passion is with UX strategy. I approach projects with both the user and business goals in mind. For fun, I like to photograph things. Most of the time, I come upon the subjects, and sometimes they come upon me.

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