Scrappy or crappy?

Last week, I did something I haven’t done in years; I walked into a national chain bookstore, determined to buy a book.  After reading several Kindle books, I missed the feel of a hardcover.  Ten minutes of browsing led me to “Trillion Dollar Coach” about Bill Campbell, a Silicon Valley ‘Yoda’ who helped mentor Google and Apple.

The price on the back cover read $28.99, but that’s kind of like a car’s MSRP… Nobody pays the list price.  Out of curiosity, I check the book’s price on this store’s website: $15.17.  That’s more like it.  Next, I check Amazon’s price: $19.60.  Scrappy Brick-and-Mortar Retailer 1, Behemoth Online Retailer 0.  Hold the applause.

I walk to the counter to pay, and after a brief hello, the cashier asks me if I want to sign up for something to save 10%.  No thanks.  Then she asks, “What’s a good email address so we can send you valuable coupons?”  No, I’m good.  I prefer non-valuable coupons anyway.  Finally, she scans the barcode and the register shows $28.99.  I protest and tell her the online price is $15.17, and she says, “Oh, we don’t have the same prices online as we do in the store.”  Ummm.  “And besides, that’s the Marketplace.  Those are used books.”  I’m sure I looked like Napoleon Dynamite in deep thought, so she says, “But I can give you the online price, which is $24.31.  With tax, the total is $26.01.”  Still stunned, I slowly hand over my cash.

When I get to my car, I set the book on the passenger seat and stare at it for an unusually long time.  Buyer’s remorse is riding shotgun.  I wonder if the library has this book?  I go about my day, but I can’t shake this feeling that I’ve been taken.  After several hours, I do what most rational people would do…I let it go.  And, by that, I mean I took the book back to the store and requested a refund.

This all might seem petty or stupid or a waste of time, but it confirmed to me why I hadn’t been into a national chain bookstore in a while.  It’s much less of a hassle to order online and have a book show up at my door 1-2 days later.  Plus, I save money and I’m not accosted with “deals” (Save $1 on your next Danielle Steele purchase!).

Do companies really think they can still get away with charging a premium price for subpar customer experience in today’s world?  We see it all the time in the financial advisory world: “advisors” and firms selling high-fee products that underperform, nickel-and-diming their clients for add-on services, and offering one-size-fits-all solutions—all of which fly in the face of how P&A operates.

Rather than trying to upsell our clients, our approach is to up-serve you.  We know the client experience bar isn’t coming down; your expectations will continue to move higher.  We also know there’s a big difference between scrappy and forgetting the “s.”

Click here to download a PDF version of this article!

Was this post helpful?

Previous

Next

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Since 1995, we have existed for one purpose...to help our clients live the life they’ve always imagined. We are a fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA) and a full-time fiduciary, meaning we fight for your best interests day in and day out. Our approach results in shared success.

Get P&A in your inbox!

Get P&A in your inbox!

Sign up for our monthly email – Written in-house to educate & entertain.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

DOWNLOAD "5 KEYS TO RETIRING WITH CONFIDENCE" HERE

DOWNLOAD "5 KEYS TO RETIRING WITH CONFIDENCE" HERE

Please enter your name and email below.

You have Successfully Subscribed!