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Jimmy Johns Disappointment - A Website Failure


Does fast service make up for a disappointing attempt to place an order? My staff and I were at an outside location we frequent for our meetings. At about lunch time I made plans to purchase lunch and attempted to go on line to place an order with Jimmy John’s a sub shop that was close to where we were. The website indicates you can order right from there provided your shop takes on line orders.   This shop did, however when I proceeded to place my order the instructions weren’t very clear and when I put in the address I got an error that it couldn’t recognize the address. [This despite the fact the shop regularly delivers here.] While that might have been disappointing, the frustrating part was the hoops it appeared one had to jump through to place an order. I’ll admit to being in a hurry and not being the most patient person in the world, however after several attempts with the address still not working I then attempted to get a login, thinking this would help me place my order. While I got an email that acknowledged my on line registration, the address still wouldn’t work. 

Next step, call the location. Already I had spent about ten minutes trying to order, and after speaking to the store directly I wish I had given up before calling. The first order attendant couldn’t hear me. There was a lot of noise in their shop and he couldn’t understand my order. Another attendant took over and again they had trouble hearing. I literally had to shout my location, order and VISA card number [Not something I recommend in a public place] in order for her to hear me.   The topper came when she gave me the price for the order. As you can see from their on line menu their eight inch sub sandwiches are listed at $4.50. The total was higher than I anticipated based on this. When I asked her why she indicated these eight inch subs where $5.50 when delivered. I told her that’s not what their menu said, and that delivery according to this menu was supposed to be just .25 cents more. She said I must have an old menu.   When I told her that the menu was their ON-LINE menu she stuttered and said, well I’ll have to look into it. Then she asked me whether I still wanted to order. Having spent about 20 minutes just trying to get an order and with 1 PM approaching I decided to order anyway. She was kind enough to offer me one cookie for the inconvenience I had experienced both on line and with the wait and difficulty they had hearing my order. [By the way if they offer you a chocolate chunk cookie, I’d recommend refusing them, they’re not very good!]

About the only redeeming value Jimmy Johns offered was by the time I finished my order and came back from the bathroom our sandwiches were already arriving. The sandwiches were okay, however based on my experience ordering they would have had to have been pretty special to make up for this transaction.   

The lesson in this is to make sure what’s on your website agrees with what you are offering and that whatever your site offers can be completed in a user friendly transaction. I may have goofed up on the on line order procedure, however it wasn’t very easy to follow. I could easily forgive that if the service I’d received when calling the store had measured up. The store location was too loud for them to hear my order. [Perhaps they should take customer orders in a quiet area?] Worse yet their on line menu prices didn’t agree with the store pricing, and the attendant made no effort to adjust the price because of this error. A company this size you have to question if anyone is home and monitoring what’s going on when their online menu is different from store pricing. 

I registered my complaint with the online posting they offered; however there wasn’t an automatic email to indicate they had even received it. What’s your guess that if they can’t get their pricing right they aren’t very good at following up on complaints? Net Promoter Newsletter offered the following cartoon that illustrates quite vividly what I experienced in my transaction with Jimmy Johns.

If a company the size of Jimmy Johns can make this kind of mistake, how vulnerable are you to similar issues?   Constant vigilance and effective customer reporting is the only way to prevent this from hurting your business. Once again The Rockefeller Habit’s Disciplines for Meeting Rhythms and customer feedback need to be an important habit you establish to safeguard your business. Make sure you’re not  disappointing your customers and destroying the potential for lifetime customer value

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