I just went to book a table in a restaurant, and was pretty astounded by how bad the user experience of the online booking service was. It all started ok, choose a date, time, number of people – ie the stuff I know they need from me. Next I moved on to the next step in the process, which sounded like check availability & then confirm my booking, but instead I was faced by this monster form, with no obvious option to skip it, at which point I dropped out of the process and picked up the phone.
The only details I was asked for on the phone: date, time, number of people, contact name, phone number. The person on the other end of the phone was friendly and it all seemed easy, in other words – a good user experience. Imagine he started asking me all of the stuff on the form: “are you interested in Blind Dining or Burlesque?” and “say no now to opt out of our marketing phone calls”. Presumably the rational for all this was form = data capture, lets make them fill out as much as possible so we can learn about our customers. Another way of doing that? Walk into your restaurant and take a look at your customers, you’ll learn a lot more that way.
The website has the attitude of “play our game, by our rules”, where as the actual experience of going to a good restaurant is “the customer is always right, we will tend to your every need”. Just another example of where the digital user experience is completely out of step with the ‘real world’ customer experience.