I hate grocery shopping but I love to cook. Fix that for me. That was a question I posed to a group of credit union innovators last month. Why was I having them work on the grocery store experience, besides the obvious selfish reason? Because banking is an errand. Your members don’t “get” to go to the credit union they “have” to. Just like they have to go to the post office, gas station, dry cleaners, pharmacy and the grocery store. And the experiences are eerily similar for the most part. Think about it.
The credit union experience is most like the post office. Unlike grocery shopping you don’t travel around the lobby picking up items before you queue up. You walk in and get in line. Almost ALWAYS at the post office you get in line. In fact, now that I’m writing this I realize I cannot recall a time when I ran that errand that I didn’t have to stand behind someone.
Anywho - what was my point? Oh yes. The credit union innovators and the grocery experience. Some of their ideas included having a grocery cart that was designed to hang bags inside and on the handle was a scanner so as you put each item in the bag you scanned it. The cart weighed the items and when you were done you “checked out” and paid. Interesting. Someone else added that there should be a GPS so you could enter obscure items like “water chestnuts” and it would show you the aisle and shelf they were on. Incidentally I recently had to buy a can of these curious little nuts? fruit? vegetable? Answer: Asian food aisle, bottom shelf. Who knew?
They had some really great ideas but I am the target audience. If they had asked me why I HATE grocery shopping the innovation would have gone in another direction. I hate it because I live 35 miles from the nearest grocery store (so I have to time my shopping, especially in the summer months so I can get the stuff home as soon as possible). I also have a hard time finding some ingredients because my grocery store is in Santa Fe, NM where Mexican food rules. Not an endive demographic.
So let’s break it down. I am a Food Network fanatic, party of 2, living in a desert kitchen. The solution is to deliver fresh gourmet ingredients to my door. After this session the CEO of the credit union said “I’m going to send you a free box of food from Hello Fresh.” I think you’ll like it. I don’t like it. I LOVE it! Each Thursday the UPS guy delivers a refrigerated box of fresh food to my doorstep. Inside are three little boxes with fresh vegetables, seasonings, a different starch. Then below a cardboard divider and under the reusable ice packs are my three proteins. A beautiful laminated recipe card is included as well.
Now I feel like I’m the star of my own cooking show. Everything is pre-measured and in cute little containers. For example if a recipe called for a tablespoon of honey - you guessed it, a tiny little jar of honey.
Hello Fresh is not for everyone. I grew up in a family of 7, and there’s no way that’s a smart way to shop. They would’ve had to use a crane to lift that box on the porch. But for dual income no kids (DINKS) like Mark and I, it’s perfect.
Back to the credit union innovation. I am in the process of moving my checking account. Why would I put myself through such an arduous task? Because I am not happy with my current credit union. Oh my god it’s such a chore!!! Switch kits are a joke, btw. All they do is illustrate how much stuff I need to worry about moving. I can say for certain I am going to hate this experience and we really need to fix it.
What are your ideas? Help me!