The story: On Sunday, I went to Meijer in Fort Wayne (located on Illinois Road) and bought some Fresca for my mother-in-law who lives in a residential nursing home. My youngest daughter was with me (she is 16) and I’m only at Meijer because I forgot the Fresca while shopping at Kroger the day before.
My daughter loves the self-scan kiosks so I give her full control and am there just to pay, like most parents. She gets the first item scanned and things are good. She gets to the second item and it won’t scan. She keeps booping it across the machine…nothing. My fuse is growing shorter with every boop and after the fourth or fifth one, I’m done. I turn to the cashier and ask her to please come over and help.
The cashier comes over and it won’t take her code. She keeps saying, “This machine s always temperamental.” My red flag is going off now. It’s “always” this way? She keeps trying and after five minutes, even she is frustrated. I grab up the stuff and tell her we will go to another cashier. She says, “Ok” and walks away, leaving the machine open for the next customer to be frustrated when it won’t work properly.
Really? All I get is an “Ok“? [Remember, I went there for Fresca.] I ended up spending $90 on other stuff along with the Fresca.
Clearly, we didn’t break this machine; the store is refusing to use it dollars of profit to fix or replace the crappy machine. What if the cashier had said, “I’m sorry. Let me get you to a cashier who can ring you out and get you on your way.” (Sorry, I was clearly dreaming for a second there…)
I got to my car and tweeted to Meijer. The response was “Thanks for the feedback.” Ohmergerd. It makes me question, “Why are you on Twitter, @Meijer???” [click to tweet them this question!]
So, why am I posting this? Just to complain about Meijer? No – I want to make sure the financial services community understands these types of experiences are important to analyze and make sure we do not repeat them:
Customer service is everything. It’s still the most important differential in our profession. We must be understanding, caring, confidential, friendly, responsive, etc. because consumers must have a good experience when it comes to managing their financial landscape. We bring peace of mind in challenging situations.
- Crappy customer service ruins anything good the company does. In financial services, you might help a client get into a great investment vehicle where they make a great return, but if an assistant is rude, an insurance carrier takes too long to get back or you never return an email to the client – – guess what they remember? Customer service is the difference in that memory being one that is great or meh.
- Respect the dollar. Each of us has to work a certain amount of time to make a buck. That time variable might be 1 minute to 10 minutes…heck, even more if you’re a kid who had to babysit all night to just earn a few dollars. So why do we continue to put up with disrespect of our money? When a company as a whole has poor customer service skills or lacks the ability to care about a customer’s experience, they are not respecting their dollar. In financial services, we are probably even more aggravated by disrespect of money when all we do is work with clients to help protect theirs.
- Social media is a conversation. Plain and simple. If you’re simply on social media to talk at people and not talk with people, you look like a jerk. It’s ok to share things that you believe your customers will find helpful, but if they talk to you – ANSWER them and be engaged. If not, you’re not helping them be better clients and you’re not open to being a better company.
So is it ironic that Meijer posted this quote from Fred Meijer on Twitter just 23 hours before I complained to them? I think not.
Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!
Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite