What I learned about Product Experience from failed BloomNation delivery

Today I had a lackluster product experience through BloomNation. I selected same-day delivery and picked a great looking bouquet. The flowers never got delivered because the florist did not have cornucopia in stock as part of the arrangement.

I got an email at the end of the day and was told that the last delivery truck had left. It was really a bummer to my entire experience because the florist said she’d left two voicemails earlier in the day—and I wished she or the system had emailed before the truck left.

She was professional, but this brought up an interesting misalignment in priorities as a customer and a vendor.

My priorities:

  1. I wanted flowers delivered TODAY and not next Monday when cornucopia arrives in store
  2. I wouldn’t care if the cornucopia was swapped out for something else

Florist’s priorities:

  1. She wanted the bouquet to be as perfect as the design on BloomNation
  2. She would have made changes to the order if she had been able to get in touch with me

Although we both wanted the fulfillment of the same product (the experience of flowers delivered), we weighed each stage of the product experience very differently because of different priorities. Even though I ordered a bouquet (explicitly) I was really ordering an experience to happen by a certain time (implicitly). To the florist, the form and quality of the bouquet was more if not as important as the timeliness of the delivery.

I have been obsessed with understanding customer behavior and thinking about MagicBus’s product experience. Our customers are not only interested in getting to work on-time or having a comfortable commute experience; there is something larger at play, and I’m still trying to figure out.

Walter Isaacson quoted Steve Jobs referring to innovations as the intersection of humanities and sciences. I love what that implies.


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