Why do millions of Americans each year choose to shop at speciality grocery stores(like Trader Joe’s, HyVee or HEB) when similar products cost less at stores like Walmart or Aldi?
Yes, stores like Trader Joe’s, provide more speciality items like organic hummus or their own bottled wine. But, the real reason people choose stores like Trader Joe’s over stores like Walmart is because they actually enjoy going there. These millions of shoppers(including my mom, who enjoys how you can make your own peanut butter at HEB), want to have a positive experience while shopping for their groceries and are even willing to pay more for it. Their shopping experience matters.
With most of my family living in Texas, I have flown multiple times from Kansas City to Houston to visit my parents. Kansas City is a hub for Southwest but also carries other airlines like American. Interestingly, regardless of which airline I choose, it's still the same service provided: safely fly from Kansas City to Houston, delivering both passengers and their luggage on time. Yet, when I reminisce to my flights with Southwest vs. American, I don’t think about safely landing in Houston, but rather only remember how I was or was not valued as a customer. With Southwest, flights are dependably fair-priced, bags fly free, and the flight attendants often use humor while making announcements. With American, prices are often unpredictable, checked bags have additional fees, and the flight attendants are systematic in their approach to conversing with passengers. The same service provided, yet one experience often leaves me feeling anxious and uneasy. Why? Because American Airlines’ systematic approach to providing the service and making additional money left me with unexpected costs, feeling underappreciated(I paid $400 for the flight, for crying out loud!) and thus, an unpleasant experience. While Southwest approached me with transparency, where I felt appreciated and that they valued me for spending my money on their airlines. The feeling of being appreciated not only motivates my choice of airlines, but also carries over to all of my daily purchasing choices.
As a millennial, my life has often been intertwined with technology. Whether it's buying a gift or needing a ride, technology has made my life more simplified and efficient. With this constant immersion, the expectation in my day-to-day experiences with services has been heightened. I fully expect companies and organizations to use technology to make my experience positive. Amazon offers free, 2-day shipping with a yearly subscription and offer excellent customer service. Uber, with the use of its mobile app, has made transportation easy, efficient, and more affordable. With this drive for a customer-centered approach, companies have leveraged the value of saved time and a customer feeling valued. Despite most companies focusing their business models around a positive customer experience, transactions involving the government continue to lag behind.
Payment processes with the government are often a headache. It's not the need for paying my citation or water bill that leaves me feeling jaded, but the overall process not meeting my expectation. Paying for a citation, renewing a car tag, or paying a water bill. These are all necessary interactions that US citizens deal with on a yearly basis. It being necessary, doesn’t mean citizens should suffer from it being an inefficient process. Frankly, I just want to pay for it. With many of these payment transactions, citizens are required to be in person, have the correct forms in-hand, and often take a long time to complete. Why are these interactions frustrating for me? It's the overall lack of technology used to leverage a more positive citizen-to-government experience.
Initially when I heard about PayIt, I was excited to hear about a company focused on simplifying the government. With a cloud-based, mobile payment platform, PayIt gives citizens the ability to pay for multiple government payment transactions in one place. It already sucks receiving a citation for speeding. It sucks even more having to mail or go in-person to pay for it. Motivated by a team of citizens who have dealt with the same headache, PayIt provides this same payment service, yet makes the experience unexpectedly easy. Jokes from a Southwest flight attendant can be a game-changer when a flight is delayed. Having the ability to buy a fishing license on your phone while waiting for the flight delay, is even better.
Government transactions will likely always be a part of our lives; wasted time on paying them doesn't have to be. I'm excited to be a part of team driven to make that a reality.
As of today, the 311 of Kansas City, MO receives 420,000 calls a year, averaging out to 1 call per citizen, each year. Of these calls, about 75% of the calls are requests for either a person’s court date or a bulky item pickup. Using PayIt’s “one-app” experience, these requests could be performed in one place on a smartphone, eliminating hundreds of thousands of calls each year! As a part of the Client Services team at PayIt, it’s my job to investigate ways to leverage PayIt’s solutions to make government easy. Helping meet the citizen’s expectation in transacting with the government.Why do millions of Americans each year choose to shop at speciality grocery stores(like Trader Joe’s, HyVee or HEB) when similar products cost less at stores like Walmart or Aldi?