Lessons From Blockbuster – Total Access Takes Another Minor Misstep

Blockbuster provides a perfect real-world example of a company struggling to get it right. Sometimes they get the DVD in the tray and sometimes they don't. (That analogy sounded better in my head!)

One of the neat features of Blockbuster Total Access is that along with being able to exchange mail envelopes for a free DVD in the store is that they also send you a monthly coupon that can be used for either a DVD or a game. Real quick, let's do the math on all of this. I pay just about $ 10 per month for the one DVD at a time plan. Let's say that I only watch movies on the weekend so every week I get my DVD in the mail, watch it, exchange it for a freebie in the store and then wash, rinse and repeat the next weekend and so on. That's two movies I watch per per week, eight per month plus a ninth movie (or game) using the free coupon. I'm paying just over $ 1.10 per movie.

If I were to do the same process with the next level of service, two DVDs at a time, I'd be paying about $ 0.88 per movie. Not a bad stinking deal, and again, which is why I'm in love with Blockbuster Total access. I'm sold on the service, but where Blockbuster goes wrong is in the customer communications department.

Last week I received an email from Blockbuster notifying me that my ecoupon was ready. I was curious about that. I wasn't sure how these ecoupons would be delivered.

The email is great! It's only missing one thing; a link to the actual coupon. The email does everything right except the one thing that they absolutely MUST get right. It provides no link nor any instructions on how to print the coupon. Well, thanks for the notification, but, uh, what now?

I look through the "related links" to see if maybe a link to the coupons was included in that list. No luck there. The best I can do is to "Sign In". So I click on the sing in link and am taken to the login screen. I enter my info and am taken to the standard you're-logged-in home page. I don't see any special notice that tells me my ecoupon is ready to be printed. In fact, there is nothing on this page about my ecoupon whatsoever.

I finally figured out to navigate to "My account" and look for a little button that reads "print ecoupon". Talk about making the customer do all the work! An email such as this should, at the very least, contain instructions on how to get to the coupon. Don't make the customers spend time trying to figure all this out. Even better, though, would have been an actual button in the email to "Print ecoupon." This could have led the customer directly to the coupon page saving everybody a bit of time and frustration!

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