On the web we can browse a site that is designed for mobile devices, or we can use an App. My local haircut store is Great Clips in Tualatin and this franchise has gone the App route. Installing the App is straight forward and when it opens I just have to click one button: Check In
Clicking that button brings up a map of the many Great Clips locations, along with the wait time at each store:
Today I wanted to go in for a hair cut, so I used this App from Great Clips, selected the closest store in Tualatin and it came back with a 29 minute wait time. No big deal, I just did some email on my computer and waited until the wait time reached 9 minutes, then I drove 5 minutes to reach the store in time, and sure enough my name was listed as #1 on their display board. Once inside the store the lady told me, "Oh, we have another customer in front of you, so there is at least another 10 minutes of wait time."
My incredulous reply was, "I used your App and it told me when to be here, and I arrived on time, plus my name is #1 on your list, how can you bump me to number two?"
She replied, "Oh, that's not how it works here, when anyone walks in they get placed on the list and you have to wait."
I really couldn't believe what I was hearing, so I simply left their store and probably will never return again. Great Clips has just lost another loyal customer because their App promised me one thing, and yet the Tualatin store seemingly cares more about walk-ins then App users, even when the App user is #1 on their display board.
I'm all for using Apps and display boards to empower your customers, but to be effective your business will have to use a policy that makes sense to the clients, otherwise you are going to risk losing loyal customers like Great Clips just did with me.
Here's the response from Great Clips customer service at the corporate level: