ADVENTURES in appliance shopping:
We are price matching our butts off over here appliance shopping. We need a new dishwasher and a new refrigerator. We really need a new laundry set too, but we are prioritizing the refrigerator and dishwasher for now because old dishwasher will die any day and currently makes weird noises sometimes. Also our fridge is old and small and doesn’t close right. So we are appliance shopping and we have been doing that on and off, for months. I think we’ve both had just about enough actually. Flipp App helps for some of that and then there’s good old fashioned leg work.
Over the last few months, and particularly this past week, we have learned a few things again about buying big household purchases and I wanted to share some with you on the off chance any appliance brands, or retailers, might read this post.
Lesson 1: It’s annoying when some stores don’t update their on line stock often enough. Busy people do not have time to price match and comparison shop and then go in ready to buy and find out “Nope, we don’t have any.”
Lesson 2: Also if I was going to buy something big off of you – maybe even two or three big appliances and you didn’t ever return my follow up call regarding a question about whether you service appliances or not then honestly I’m not returning to buy. I had this happen this week. I really wanted to buy something and yet nobody could answer my questions. WAH. Wah. Fail.
Lesson 3: It is surprising when you go into a store that you have a preset notion or opinion about and they totally demolish that. I had excellent service from a staff member at Home Depot this week. She painstakingly searched out the best prices and took a long time matching fridge prices up for me, then printed the item numbers out. ALSO she informed me that they match and then discount also by a further 10 %. So they really are cheapest in town… that said I still haven’t made the purchase because we both discuss big ticket items and we try to agree on style and size and cost. Sometimes that is the hardest part.
Lesson 4: One further point regarding Home Depot…while I was there I noticed two teenagers I know with special needs who came in to work there as I was shopping. It might have been high school co-op, and it might have been pathways to community living or whatever, BUT I witnessed how well they were treated and supported by staff members and that gave me warm fuzzies….They were both greeted by name, asked nicely how they were. One was a bit late to work, but 2 staffers both calmly advised the teen it was okay…Calm and supportive all the way….Might seem small to some people, but I can tell you where I would rather buy stuff now after visiting several spots in town partly because that left me feeling really positive about the store as a brand and community partner. That’s not something I would see in a TV or print ad. It’s not marketing. It’s more a brand philosophy or mission statement. What is your brand or store mission statement? Don’t have one? Hmmm…sometimes we can tell.
Lesson 5: I already know this as a consumer, and as a person who makes many of the buying decisions here. If you treat me with less respect than you treat my husband when we enter your store to buy a product, I WILL NOT BUY from you and I will remember that feeling also. I will also tell my friends. That’s how we shop. I remember buying my van and I remember how we were “handled.”
Lesson 6: Appliance shopping isn’t fun. I don’t get a big kick out of spending thousands on a new refrigerator. I’d rather spend the money on a flight to Costa Rica. I hope to have to buy new appliances maybe once every ten years. It is costly and time consuming and it is a big purchase. So a note to you retailers selling appliances, help to make the experience a positive one.
Lesson 7: You never know who is watching and what they are going to see. Goals and values and heart matter. Many others might have seen the two teens with invisible special needs and not really have noticed at all. But – and this is also a note for consumers – please remember inclusion as a society is a goal many of us are working hard at building and promoting. It does us all good to help support people with differences. It makes everyone stronger. (Recently I saw a clerk at Wendy’s with obvious-to-me special needs being completely misread by a customer and it made me heartsick. I overheard the female customer say as we were eating – “I am calling their head office to complain about that kid..He was so slow. He didn’t even understand what I was asking for”..Her complaint was something to the effect of. “I told him I got the salad with pine nuts and he gave me the one with almonds. Then he just stared at me.” Newsflash he was slow because he is operating at a different speed and needed understanding, not someone berating him and talking about how lazy or different he is. Also how many people see the problem with how she phrased her statement? She did not give a simple or clear instruction…of course he stared you didn’t tell him what you needed him to do.) This is what I saw and heard while in store with my child who has invisible special needs. I only hope that the people at Wendy’s support that young man and ignore the rude customer. Not faulting Wendy’s at all here. I applaud them for helping this young person to work in the community. Customer is not always right.
Lesson 8: If you don’t have social channels yet you are limiting your success. I don’t even understand this anymore. Your consumers are all on line all the time. Why are you choosing to sit that out? (Shakes head.) I search for you on Facebook, Twitter and sometimes Instagram before, and sometimes, as I am in store. It’s all part of the process of selling and doing business. I will offer kudos sometimes on twitter, when I get good service, but not if I can’t find you.
I do not currently work with any appliance brands. This is just how my week has been. I felt like sharing. So listen here’s my big takeaway…the consumer experience is sometimes also emotional and I buy things with my heart sometimes too.
Also FYI if you are a brand needing help getting on social media or maintaining social channels…if you don’t understand how or why we use social media then drop me an email at- firstname.lastname@example.org I run a business Thrifty Mom Media developing social media strategy for brands, both big and small. My Linked In profile can tell you more. https://ca.linkedin.com/in/inkscrblr