A Lesson In Customer Service That Wal-Mart Might Benefit From…

How’s this for a scary Saturday horror story? An afternoon at Wal-Mart!

The crowds, the line-up’s, the ‘customer service reps’, and the ever friendly and helpful stock boys. Let’s put it this way, I would rather go to the dentist and have teeth pulled than go to Wal Mart on a Saturday afternoon.

However, this was one trip that I will not soon forget. Check out this ‘advertisement’ I saw while waiting in their customer service line. It was tucked away, in a corner behind boxes, not very visible at all but if it was…The ideas started flowing.

wal mart one club advertisement

I know it’s pretty small print, but basically Wal Mart ‘invites’ their customers to meet with them, at their stores once a month for an hour. Really? Did you know about this? I didn’t and I bet a lot more of their customers didn’t know about this either.

But this could be HUGE for Wal Mart, think of the wonderful public relations they would get if they actually advertised this ‘club’ and didn’t stick their ad in a corner. Wow, I know I would love to let them know a few things they could improve on (for example on Saturday afternoons they only have 7 tellers working out of 17) and I’m sure many other folks would too.

This would show people that they are accountable, they are visible and it would make them look like the ‘good guys’ for once. But instead, they stick this advertisement in the back corner of their ‘customer service’ wall, behind boxes, out of view.

Talk about missed opportunity. But they are Wal Mart and I’m just a dude who surfs traffic exchanges…

Anyways, how can we use this in our businesses? To show our customers that we do give a hoot about them!

Set up a meeting, once a month with your customers. Look at what Tony Tezak does every two weeks with his T.T.P. Open House. Or even our regular T.E. Townhall Meetings. Use the power of the people in this industry and get out there. Ask them what they want to see improved. Ask them how you can be of service. Ask them what they don’t like and what they do like about your program.

I think this is something we could benefit from right now and it would help our brands be a lot more visible across the board. Will Wal Mart actually advertise their ‘Number One Club’…Who knows, but I think it would make them look real good in their customers eyes.

20 Comments
  1. Hi Jon

    I fully agree. We need let our members have contact with us other than through our support ticket system. My only regret is that there aren’t hundreds of members pounding on the door to our conference rooms. Wouldn’t it be great if we had to say – “Our conference room won’t handle 800 people.” :) Let’s just keep plugging away. :)
    Cheers!
    Tony

  2. I’ll have to look for that sign the next time I’m at Wal Mart cruising for Wal Mart babes. :)

    It’s important to be accessible to your members and to address any concerns or questions that they might have, or even just to let them know that we’re all just regular folk.

  3. Here’s my good deed for the day. Jon, there’s a problem with your Sweeva link at the bottom of this page…extra www in there, LOL.

    Have a great weekend!
    Stephen Whittle (swhomebiz)

  4. LOL Thanks Stephen, I’ll get that fixed.

    Tony – ya man, absolutely I wish I knew how to get 800 people pounding down the doors.

    Mark – Absolutely sir. It goes a long way I think to make sure people know we are there to help any way we can.

  5. Hey Jon,

    I think that regular meetings where you can exchange your thoughts and ideas with others is an awesome step in the right direction for any online or offline business.

    I am so happy that you guys in the te industry are taking this step, and Im glad to be a part of it. It is not only the program owner that gets recognition by hosting them, as by attending such meetings the little marketer gets noticed too.

    Lets try to get more members to attend!

    I’ve learned heaps of stuff at some of these meetings, and so will others… If I was them I would bookmark those meeting rooms and schedule some free time to attend!

  6. Hello,
    I am the one (but sure not only one)who never make a crowd at your conferences, my friends.

    Whenever I want to take a part in a webinar it comes deep at night or at the down hour in the mornig!

    Plese aknowledge people from other places on the glob.

    Cheers from down-under (Western Australia)
    Maria Kuczborska

  7. It’s very easy for us as site owners to go along blindly believing we are doing the right thing for our members but then really how do we know unless we talk with them. Well done Jon
    Ray

  8. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Yeah the time zone thing is tricky. And I do try to make sure I cater to as many as possible. It’s tough but a little story about yours truly…

    When I got started in this, I was involved with a company whose owner was based in Western Australia (Perth).

    For the first 3 years of my online life, I was on Australian time. I made sure I was there when everyone else was sleeping.

    Just a story of a little sacrifice I did to get to where I am now.

  9. It really amazes me how little feedback people will leave..

    I was trying to add a javascript code and I wanted it to go into all of the pages of a site so I did find and replace and selected all files in a folder.. replace with ..

    Well apparently in one of my mail() messages I had so the quotes in the javascript broke the code on a sign up page.. I got an email about a week after I made the change from someone saying they tried to sign up but got an error..

    I was averaging 10-20 sign ups a day at that point and honestly stopped keeping track, that means at least 100 people went to that page, and only 1 bothered to mention it to me, and if they didn’t who knew how long it would have went on..

    I really wish in general that people would leave more feedback, how are we expected to learn from our mistakes or grow as business people, and as individuals, if our actions go unnoticed and without response.. people need to be more vocal in general, imo.. unless they are just straight up being hateful or disrespectful, then they need to STFU.. it’s one thing to offer constructive criticism and another to be just disrespectful or rude..

    I was a manager at a walmart for 6 years and I can absolutely guarantee you that a store will never advertise this.. I’m willing to bet if you went to the courtesy desk like the sign says, they won’t know what you are talking about.. the only have the sign up because a guy in a suit comes up every few months and makes sure they have all the required signs up, and that’s one of them.. they probably just hung it up the day before he showed up :-)

    I know the type of people that work there, and I know the customer base.. and trust me.. the last thing a walmart associate wants to do is interact with a customer, especially for an extended period of time.. overworked and underpaid isn’t just a cliche…

  10. Hi Jon,

    You always have an important little gem for us all… thnx

    I’m a little slow on the feedback, since arriving on the beach in Destin, Florida… Friday afternoon.

    The atmosphere is very laidback. Even the Internet connection takes naps during the day.

    After about 6 PM, if it naps… nobody wakes it until they come in of a morning, about 9AM… lol

    Makes it hard to work, but I’ll do my best for another week or so… hehehe

    Hey, give as much lead-time as possible for any Town Hall Meetings… so I can try to attend!

    Carl Bailey

  11. Carl – will do sir LOL

    John – Ya it’s a tough thing. We’ve been doing seminars for over 5 years now and still the most people we have ever had in our rooms is like 80. But that is once in a blue moon, usually it’s around 30.

    Still like Tony said, we keep on keeping on =)

  12. Jes, Time Zones is really a problem for us South Africans as well. When we are awake the rest of the world sleep and when we sleep…
    Another problem for me is that we pay a hefty price for our broadband – nothing for free and uncapped was introduced about 2 months ago for the first time, but not by my service provider. To migrate is (almost) senseless as my email address is spread far and wide.
    It can help if copies of the HIGHLIGHTS of the webinars can be made available to listen to at an appropriate time. I’ve attended a few webinars but in some cases nothing constructive was discussed and on the one the people exchanged the latest jokes.
    So thank you but no thank you.

  13. I would love to be able to attend the conferences as I know from experience that there is a great deal of information to be learned and shared. Unfortunately, I am already spread very thin with working two jobs and trying to get my websites set up and attending Toastmasters meetings and trying to write articles for ezinearticles. I need to be able to clone myself so that I can take everything in without having a nervous breakdown….LOL

    Keep up the good work Jon

    A fellow Canadian from the Ottawa Valley

    Fran

  14. Willem – Sorry you feel that way. But again, we operate in a global marketplace. When I started, I operated on Australian time. Even though I lived in Canada. It’s up to us to find out what we want to ‘attend’ and what we don’t. It’s tough but I really think people should try to attend seminars even if it’s not on their perfect time zone.

    Fran – LOL Thank you very much for the kind words =)

  15. Jon is dead on.

    Getting in front of other members of the
    traffic exchange community at Affiliate
    Funnel seminars was the single biggest
    reason for my success as a surfer.

    I spent hours every week teach AF members
    how do this and do that and the other thing.

    That is why providing free weekly training
    is the cornerstone of Get Referrals Fast.

    And as Jon noted, we span the globe.

    We tried to do seminars at various times but
    it was not a good use of our time because
    very few people from outside North America
    attended those seminars.

    But that’s not a problem because I stole
    another idea from Jon and had Mike Paetzold
    post our seminars at
    http://listbuildingconferences.com where yousee thme at your leisure.

  16. Jon, You made my day with that video. You are one of the RICHEST people in the world. You made my day with your sense of humor and your diligence with your business is a model for us all. There is a lot more to life than a mansion and a garage full of toys.

    I learn something from the te’s everyday be it from chat rooms, recorded seminars or live. I would rather hang out in your mansion than the ones I clean everyday for people that aren’t even there.

    Ann Holmes

  17. Ann – thanks so much. It’s just a 1200 sq. ft semi detached home. But I enjoy it. Rich is different for everyone and I do not need tons of cash and huge homes to be happy.

    I’m in the traffic exchanges every day, I couldn’t ask for a better job!

  18. Jon, I am in total agreement with you. I spent several hours last night watching Gary V videos on you tube and this treatment that your received at WalMart just crystallizes what he is saying. Customer service is slowly becoming one of the single most important factors in marketing on and off the net. My Dad passed away at 89 last year and he still taught and preached to us kids that you gotta look them in the eye, build trust, never show inconvenience and even the old saying, “The customer may not always be right but You Better Not Let Him or Her Know That”. Social interaction is here to stay! Your video and article is so true for so many companies and people that have the audacity to think that people have no choice but to shop or do business with me! We are a lot smarter than that and they better know it.
    Sam

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