The war of gaining customers and customer satisfaction is not new but it’s certainly become a tug of war out there between introducing products and pricing.
Every week customers like you and I read about what the next shop is doing to satisfy us and draw us in.
A recent post I wrote about “Lost business Identity” where I touched on how almost all fast food restaurants are now serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with pretty much the same items. Some go a step further and keep adding more and more to the list. What used to be fast service is taking forever thus reducing customer satisfaction meaning we go elsewhere.
While reading Facebook the other day fans of Tim Horton’s had their say about what product they want the famous coffee and donut chain to bring back. It was no big deal to me as everything is new to me but I wanted to read what the customers had to say.
What I kept reading was not so much about the product but about good customer service, quality products and going back to basics. It was then I realized that I wasn’t dreaming and some customers might not want these stores to continually add more to the menu.
One customer even suggested a coffee only line because it’s now taking too long to pick up a coffee or wait in drive-thru. Coming from the UK I never use the drive-thru and would rather go in the shop. Customer satisfaction to me is parking my vehicle getting out and walking in the shop to get speedy, quality service.
The other day I saw a fast food employee talking on the phone while making product for a customer. Why? Apparently multi-tasking is a big deal as far as getting the product out fast but in this case should have been a big no-no. Even good customer service skills of any kind were shot out the window but no one complained, not even me.
I’m not sure if I’m just getting used to seeing this kind of service or I just give up. It wasn’t Tim Horton’s I was at but another reputable business in Canada and to be honest I was floored watching this happen.
Nowhere in sight did I see those famous comment cards but I bet if I went online I’d find a way to send in my comments. There was no point saying anything to the manager who watched him just the same.
I just won’t go back but you can bet I’ll let them know how that made me feel as a customer. They need to know if they plan to survive the war of the fast food chains.
Many of my fans love the points programs as do we especially to save up points to get free groceries. I think they are on the right track, more savings and happy customers.
Each week I load my products online that Loblaw’s presents to me because they knows I purchase or have purchased because technology is a tell-all of what we buy. These stores know that brand loyalty is a big deal and if they can continue to motivate the customer to come back and buy a product again they will entice them with savings. Smart.
It’s no different with Shoppers because we get emails with products we purchase just about every week with Shoppers Optimum coupons or savings that we can use in-store. I’m not complaining about that, we love to save money.
Just the other day the Home Depot self-checkout asked if we wanted to have our receipt sent via email rather than print it out. At first we thought that was a great way to save money on paper and good for the environment. We all know it’s to get our email address and a foot in the door of our spending habits.
This is the norm these days, email addresses are the golden ticket for any business to build a mailing list.
This is what we are creating because we keep buying into the programs so the shops compete against each to gain loyal customers while focusing on customer satisfaction.
Merging of products
About a month or so ago I started to see PC chocolate chip cookies start to show up at Shoppers Drug Mart in our area. We also noticed a table set up with PC Organics baby food, thus the beginning of the PC product introduction. I thought that seems fair since they bought the business why not bring in some of their products.
To be honest I wasn’t surprised reading an article on Yahoo this morning which confirmed that sales for food and convenience products at Shoppers Drug Mart hit 1 billion dollars or 10 percent of sales last year.
With the Shoppers Optimum Program and the cheap price on milk and eggs I can understand. Funny thing is milk which drove traffic in the store is now the same price just about everywhere else. It’s always going to be a competition.
When is it going too far though? Shoppers Drug Mart will begin a pilot program in some Toronto stores to include hot and fresh products to see if the customers want this type of convenience. I suppose the only way to know is to test it in one of your biggest markets.
Right away I thought of Giant Tiger who sells clothes, fruits and vegetables, dairy etc. Then there was Canadian Tire that tried in some stores to sell food but from what I can tell the stores we go into no longer offer food such as cheese, lunch-meat, bread and frozen foods.
Wal-Mart is a one-stop shop and Canadians dive right in so why shouldn’t Shoppers follow suit? I don’t know how well it will work out for Shoppers but I know that losing your identity might come at a big price as some customers just don’t want the all-in-one stores on every corner.
Then again some customers love the convenience of not having to waste time going from shop to shop. What would be nice is to have price matching in all Loblaw’s stores.
Even though Shoppers will be selling hot and fresh foods for this pilot project I wouldn’t be shocked in the future to see Shoppers Drug Mart grow to include even more of what we see at Loblaw’s just on a smaller scale.
Eventually the smaller mom and pop shops may suffer even more but maybe not if they stick to their true identity. Sure, change is inevitable for any business but how far are we willing to go to dominate the market for customer satisfaction?
Would you buy hot and fresh foods from Shoppers Drug Mart? What do you think of all these businesses becoming an all-in-one stop shop?
CBB at home and blog
Lots got done around here this week, thankfully. We purchased our ferns for the year which are huge and reasonably priced at $14.97 each which is what most places were charging. We thought we better get them now before we struggle to find them.
This year we aren’t doing as many hanging baskets so we will have 7 in total, 3 of which are ferns. We also have 6 potted plants filled with flowers…plus more in the back. I know, lots but we love it.
The lime tree has flowers and limes all over it so we are anxious to see what that brings us this year. Our chives are doing very well also. I haven’t gotten out to the backyard yet with all of this rain but I’ll get there eventually.
Other things I completed this week is ordering all the parts to install the central vac and floor vents. I’m sure it will be arriving this week so I’ll have to get going on installing that.
We also managed to order our bathroom vanities and picked up a 20% discount which was great. We have tonnes more to buy for the bathroom renovations so you will start to see a drop in our overall net worth but that’s fine because we are raising the value of our home.
We are spending decent money so that way if we stay in our home we can enjoy it or if we sell we don’t have to worry about potential buyers complaining.
I’ll be doing our net worth update this coming week to show you where we are at and what we may be doing moving forward.
Other than that we managed to get out and watch a movie on cheap night this week. My wife found a gift card in her drawer and with her scene card got another discount so it was cheap night at the movies… under $2. It’s nice to enjoy a nice night out with your significant other even if it is a movie or simply spending time together.
Weekly CBB posts
If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!
- Why you should enjoy local produce or pay the price?
- Can lending money ruin friendships?
- Do food pictures tempt you to buy the product?
- Why a cash only budget might be right for you
- Simple homemade plain bagel
- Is paying off the homeless people the answer?
- What were you to do if you found lost money?
Fan deals and inspirations
Submit your Brag or Inspiration If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.
Today Canadian Budget Binder fan and writer at CBB Katrina shares her deals of the week.
- Batman t-shirt: Regular price $14.94: Clearance price $7.99: Rang in at $3.47
- Workout tank top: Regular price $16.94 but I paid $8.94.
- Leggings-2 pairs: Regular Price $14.94 :Clearance price $1.97
- 2 little toy airplanes (not in picture): Regular $1.50: Sale price $0.90
Regular pricing total would have been $69.78 for the above product but I paid $19.91 with a total savings of $49.87 or 29%.
- Sandals Regular price $24.99: Sale price $14.99
- Runners Regular price $29.99: Sale Price $9.00
- After Buy one get one 50% off $4.50
- Regular pricing total would have been $57.73 for the above but I paid $25.19 with a total savings of $32.54 or 44%
Making a difference
If you know a personal finance blogger that is making a difference and want to nominate them please send me an email canadianbudgetbinder (@) yahoo.ca so I can reach out to them for a feature story.
Note: If you are a blogger who gives back and would like to be featured by all means get in touch with me as I am filling spots up for the rest of 2014 and they are going quickly.
Today I would like to introduce to you the lovely Gretchen from Retired By 40.
Hi Mr.CBB and Fans,
My name is Gretchen and I am a 23 year old who believes that Millennials can be finance savvy.
My blog, Retired By 40 follows my journey towards financial Independence while balancing the financial concerns of a growing family, paying off debt and not sacrificing family memories because of money.
I am an accountant by day – a perspective which I bring to my night jobs blogging and freelance writing.
Personal finance and financial education have always been a passion of mine but up until last year I only lurked in the shadows. However, the more money I saw friends and family wasting the more I realized I needed to speak up.
I think it was something about starting a family that pushed me towards wanting to talk about the financial concerns of a growing family. Sharing how to prioritize paying off debt and family experiences and just how achievable financial independence is are all important topics.
Debt should not be normal. Money worries should not be normal. My goal is to educate – because personal finance education is my passion and the only way to better the world for future generations.
I believe that if I help even one single person then my time was well spent. Stop by sometime – I would love you hear from you.
What is a blog carnival?
Some fans have asked me “what is a blog carnival?” so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans.
A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web. Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed.
If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.
A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals and/or sharing my blog posts with their fans. If you don’t see your blog it’s likely because I don’t know that you shared my post so send me an email to let me know. Thanks.
Google search terms
Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.
Here are a few of my favorite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, now.
- I want OSAP to stop taking money from my account– Sorry to say that when you owe a debt, you owe a debt, unless of course you plan to pay them from a different account or pay it in full. Then you need to make a phone call.
- Where to cut money– Ha, I would never cut money.. I don’t know about you. I know what they mean though. 🙂
- Why do I pee and get up at 4:16 in the morning.. could I be pregnant?- 50/50 if you ask me but most times people just need to pee.
- When a man cooks does it turn on a woman– You might need a bit more than that.
- How does smoking affect your budget- Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious.
Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?
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- The Saturday Weekend Review #61: Why you should teach your children respect
- The Saturday Weekend Review #62: Bounced cheque for Girl Guide cookies not so sweet
- The Saturday Weekend Review #63: What’s in your pockets?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #64: Walmart USA getting smarter with pricing
- The Saturday Weekend Review #65: Is customer service affected by the clothes you wear?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #66: What would you do if the ATM gave you extra money?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #67: Do we ignore the poor people?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #68: Do you hold an Easter egg hunt for the kids?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #69: Is paying off the homeless people the answer?