Snobish Millennials and The Art of Customer ServiceThursday, April 21, 2016
It's true according to google, that I fit within the birth years of a millennial. Born between 1982 and sometime in the early 2000’s. It might also be true that millennials are misunderstood and have an important role to play in society. The REAL truth probably lies somewhere in the middle but for this story please refer to the title.
As many of you know I own a design business some of you may or may not know I also help Blake run a lot of the behind the scenes operations for Evolve. I have to give you a little back story so that the rest of the story makes sense. Recently Evolve has been going through a lot of big changes and we have spent a lot of time crafting a well defined brand and the delivery of a great service. I design our graphics, write our copy, basically I add the pretty stuff. As to not make this story unnecessary long I'll just tell you that because our price point is higher than other gyms we have been working on some ideas to thank our members. This leads us to CRUDE.
Never heard of them? Crude, according to their website is an all-natural skincare line that nourishes, supplements, & supports your skin's natural defensive and regenerative processes. Made by hand in SLC.
Because we are a home grown business we like to support other local business were we can. Crude interested me first and foremost because they were local, second because I had heard really good things about their product and third I liked the packaging. I'm a designer what can I say?
So I searched out a way to contact Crude. Crude does not have a phone number at least not one that I could find. They also didn't list a street address, the only means of communication with them was through email. I like email, it has a time and a place. In fact I use it all the time but if I have the opportunity to talk with someone or better yet see them face to face I always go that route. So when I stumbled upon their address from an old City Home Collective post I decided that the best idea was to take a little field trip.
I didn't dress up fancy for the occasion. For a company that seems to pride themselves on being natural I felt like the natural nicely put together version of me would do just fine. I was super excited to talk with Crude about their products and Penn was excited for a stroller ride so it was a win win.
As we approached the store front it became clear that this was more of a box and ship product type situation but I didn't need fancy product shelves just and ear to chat about a wholesale account.
As I opened the door to the shop I was greeted by two set of annoyed and unfriendly eyes. I cheerfully brushed the negative vibes off and proceeded with my quest for a wholesale account.
Tigan: Hi, I just had a couple of questions about your products?
The Two women sitting at the table in the center of the room stared at me in silence, then."Yes?"(said with distaste)
Tigan: "Uh, ok my husband and I own a local gym (insert description of our business here) I am really interested in using your products in our thank you swag bags for our members and am wondering if you offer wholesale accounts?"
Two Women: (annoyed) "We just discontinued our wholesale accounts."
Tigan: "Oh, ok (waiting for further information like, but you can purchase our product here or we love local business or something but no other words are spoken) but you do sell product, right?"
Two Women: "Only Online"
I promise I can not make this stuff up. One of the women was the owner/founder and I don't know who the other women was.
The owner then proceeded to tell me they wouldn't be interested in working with us and while they didn't say I couldn't by their product online it was inferred.
I wanted to give their rudeness the benefit of the doubt as perhaps they had just thought I was looking for free samples but the second women asked about our swag bags in more detail and I explained they were not a one time thing but rather an every member who trains at Evolve gets one, an ongoing type of thing and I was willing to pay for their products.
At this point I was getting irritated. I'd dragged my busy self down their because this company seemed like a great fit for our swag bags but was to good for a phone number and in return had been utterly back handed with their hoity-toity, pretentious, hipster rudeness.
Fine you want play that snobbish game, it was time to bring in the big guns. We may be a gym, which I admit generally conjures up ideas of lug heads, and sweaty industrial buildings or cheap, no commitment, bargain chain gyms. None of which are really bad but also none of which describe Evolve. So I pulled out the business card.
At which point the mood in the room changed slightly.
Women: "Evolve Fitness, this is really nice" (she proceeds to hand it to the owner, she glaces at it and scoffs)
Now I was mad not only because they had been so utterly rude but because our well designed business card suddenly made us seem less lame, but only a little. It seriously took all I had not to let those women have piece of my mind. I thanked them for literally nothing and left.
So here's how this breaks down. I don't normally post negative interactions with business most of the time I think the bad experiences could be due to a slew of possibilities but this experience was extra horrible and to be honest Crude seems to spend a lot of effort perfecting their online presence. They flood their instagram account with "REAL" girls in floppy hats and matte lipstick, positive skin nurturing testimonials, and a belief that natural, pure, simple and botanical ingredients can change your skin. Né YOUR LIFE.
Well Ladies you can take your euphuistic instagram account and pompous demeaning attitudes and suck it because in the real world customer service matters. The online world is great and you can make a lot of money there. But the people, the real kind on the other side of the screen. You know the human race, we are the ones buying your product and when you treat us like crap it's only fitting that we put you on blast the only way you seem to understand, ONLINE. Why don't you filter this and see how rose colored you can make it. By the way from one millennial to the other, not that it matters, at all but we have more followers than you.