A Customer Journey Gone Wrong

5 minute read

A blog about how brands lose value when the customer journey goes wrong. Customer happiness can be hard to find. My first blog, The Value of Customer Journeys, talked about how marketers can use customer managed journeys to find customer happiness. Here’s a real-life example to illustrate a customer journey that’s gone wrong and a missed opportunity to find customer happiness.

This is my true story. My personal happiness was within this brand’s grasp – but very carelessly they let it slip. This illustrates how brands apply the brakes to the value exchange when they ignore a customer.

Clearly I love technology and innovation. I’d heard about Osmo as an award-winning, innovative educational game system that children use with the iPad. It’s Christmas so I had it in the back of my mind that I needed to find something for my 4 year old Grand Daughter’s Christmas present.

My Osmo Journey


1. I was on Facebook and was presented with an ad from Osmo offering an educational game system, so I clicked on the ad and was taken to their Facebook page.

2. I explored their page to see if I could find any reviews or comments from Osmo users. There seemed to be some comments from fans on their Facebook Page, a lot of stories about Osmo in schools – but also people who had missed deliveries. Hmmm.

3. I followed the link to their website, which is very welcoming, feels very friendly and very simple and easy to follow. I could see the different games and packages I could buy and it all seemed very straightforward – the Buy button was very easy to find. So all good so far.

4. I looked for reviews and stories of Osmo customers from grown-ups and kids using Osmo at home, but was surprised to not find any. There was a lot of those stories about schools but not individual families at home. Don’t they talk to their customers? Aren’t they interested in their customers’ stories? You’d think there’d be all kinds of cool examples of what kids had created and learned. Hmmmm.

5. Buying this present isn’t just my decision so I emailed Grandma a link to the product page with all the details to ask her what she thought, and waited for her to come back and confirm. At this point I was ready to buy, I didn’t really need any more persuading, but I did have a few niggly doubts in the back of my mind.


6. A day or so later I was still waiting for the confirmation from Grandma. I was at work and went to another website – and saw 2 more ads for Osmo, I also saw an Osmo mobile ad on my mobile phone. This was slightly annoying because I’d already visited their product page on their website so clearly I was interested, I didn’t need to see any more ads trying to make me aware of Osmo. It would have been nicer if they had used the previous interactions I’d had with them to give me more relevant information at this point.

7. The next day I got the greenlight from Grandma so I went back to the Osmo website feeling excited because I knew my Grand Daughter was going to like this present and I was going to love playing the games with her.

8. I was slightly miffed when I got to their website as it didn’t recognise me at all, as if I’d never been there before. It’s a minor peeve, not enough to stop me in my tracks.

9. I bought their Genius Kit from their website. The purchase journey was very slick and within minutes the task was complete. All good. I was surprised at the point of purchase that they didn’t try to find out anything more about me, such as whether this was a gift.

10. However that same day I continued to see (the same) Osmo ads on all my devices wherever I went online, including on Facebook. This really annoyed me. Do not push irrelevant ads at me, especially when I’m already a customer. I don’t need to be sold to. I’d like to be recognised, thanked, and helped. Instead I was clearly just ‘Anon’. They’d got their cash and didn’t care. I had hoped for some helpful information like how to get started using the product.

11. The same day I received a Shipping Notification email from Osmo. It didn’t even address me by name, I was just ‘Greetings’. There was nothing in the communication to explain how I could track the order, which was worrying because I remembered all those comments on Facebook about missing orders.

12. Feeling a bit miffed I went back to their website to see how I could track the shipment but the website still didn’t recognise me. It felt like they’d taken my money but now they were ignoring me. And I couldn’t find any way to contact Osmo to find out how to track my order delivery apart from on email. I just wanted to speak to someone.

13. The day the order was due to arrive had come, but nothing arrived, or the next day, or the day after that.

14. I went to the Osmo Facebook Page and added a comment asking where my delivery was. No one replied.

15. Feeling a bit worried I waited for my order to be delivered. In the meantime I continued to see Osmo ads on all my devices wherever I went online. It felt like Osmo didn’t even know I was a customer – and a worried one at that.


16. Phew – I finally received my delivery and all’s well. However I am left feeling short-changed and frustrated because despite being a customer who has just bought from them there’s been no recognition or acknowledgement, no indication they really know who I am.

A lot of Marketers would look at this and only see ‘sold = journey completion = success’. They wouldn’t see the problem.

So why am I unhappy?

This is a great example of a marketing customer acquisition campaign which is pre-defined and is only interested in ‘the sales funnel’. Once I’ve bought from them there’s no relationship. It keeps pushing ads at me every time I go online and at no point does it recognise me or show they know anything about who I really am. They only seem to care about sales, after that the door slams in your face.

This shows how static journey mapping cannot recognise where customers are on their journey, their place and status on the journey, the context, to guide to the next best place on that journey.

This is the fairly typical outcome of a static predefined customer journey mapping workshop and Marketing campaigns working in silos outside of their customers’ actual journeys.

Osmo’s wasted opportunity

The real wasted opportunity is I could have been a brand advocate for Osmo. I could have gone on to recommend them and share their details to everyone I know. I could have reviewed them on their website or on Facebook. Instead I’m left feeling neglected, like they just don’t care. I gave them what they wanted, they’ve given me the product I wanted, but that it would seem is the end of the matter. To make me a brand advocate they’ve missed so many opportunities to add more value at each point of interaction, create better engagement, and make me a truly happy customer. The likelihood of me to go on and become a life-long customer of Osmo is pretty slim, I’ll be looking for the next bigger and better alternative from now on. I’d love to say I love Osmo. But sadly I can’t.

So how could this be a happy ever after story? Next week read about my alternative journey with Osmo in a parallel universe where I end up being a happy customer.