Service Journal in NYC


1. Pick-up Service: Online to Offline

I just moved to NYC a few weeks ago. Moving requires a lot of shopping to settle down. However, luckily, I rented a room in a fully furnished apartment. The house enables me not to buy big furniture such as a desk, a bed, a closet, and so forth. Therefore, what I needed for living were small-sized items or organizers.

Chelsea, where I live, has high living expenses. As a newcomer in this town, I tried to cut down on expenses. Then, I found a few places that offer a discount if using a pick-up service.

(1) The Container Store
The Container Store sells various kinds of organizers to make the home look neat.

Service Experience
  1. Order the products and reserve the branch and pick-up time online (at least a day before)
  2. Receive the email that your order is prepared.
  3. Go to the store
  4. Tab a button on your email which lets the salesperson know that you have arrived at the store. (OR Tell a salesperson you are there to pick up)
  5. Wait for the salesperson.
  6. Sign on the receipt and take your order from the salesperson.

  • I can buy a wide array of products online which are not on display at offline stores.
  • I got a email alert 3-4 hours earlier than my reserved time.

  • I was confused about the waiting spot and how to find the pick-up order counter. There was no signage for pick-up service users.

MUJI is a Japanese lifestyle brand that offers a wide range of household products. They are well-known for their “no-brand” policy and minimal design.

Service Experience
  1. Order the products online (I was not able to choose the day&time to pick up)
  2. Receive the email of the product arrival.
  3. Go to the store
  4. Show my ID Card
  5. Take my order.

  • I was able to buy the product out of stock.

  • To pick up the product, it took 5 days since I completed the order.
  • I should have matched up billing address name & my name.
(3) Amazon Locker
My apartment does not have a security office to take my packages. I found a safe and easy way to get online orders: Amazon Locker, which does not provide service in S.Korea where I was born. It was the first time I experienced this service.

Service Experience
  1. Make an order online and choose the pickup location.
  2. Receive the email that includes the barcode and the invoice.
  3. Go to the locker.
  4. Scan the barcode.
  5. The locker, which my package is in, automatically opens.
  6. Confirms that the locker is closed.

  • The service is a simple and intuitive process to get my packages.
  • There are lockers where I can pick up and it is less than a 3 min walk.

  • In the case of big and heavy packages, I had better find another way.

2. Offline Service

(1) Trader Joe’s
In my opinion, Trader Joe’s is the most popular market in Chelsea, NYC. Because of inexpensive prices and a wide range of products, this place is always crowded. While shopping at the store, I found several interesting points worth thinking about.

    1. There is no guideline for cashiers to give away paper bags. There are two groups: those who ask you if you want a bag or those who just gave you a bag without asking.
    2. They assort the products in big categories such as vegetables, sauces, meat, and so on; however, they sometimes group different categorized products. For example, I can buy tomato spreads in the bread aisle. Soy sauce is also located with the frozen dumplings. In the pasta aisle, small bags of garlic are hanging between the pastas.
    3. One of the most challenging experiences in Trader’s Joe is the “line.” In the very front of the cash registers, there are sweets and alcohol. People easily add them into their cart while waiting. Additionally, tissues are the last thing they encounter before the checkout. By placing big sized products last, they take it easily to the exit.

(2) Chase Bank
For the first time, I opened an account in the US. The interesting point for me is that Chase bank offers a private room for who want to open an account, unlike S.Korea.

(3) In an emergency
On the first day of school, I was stuck in the elevator with eight other classmates. After the accident, the security office attached a sign “Limit the occupancy to 8 people” in the elevator.

Service Experience
  1. Press the emergency button.
  2. Use the emergency phone to contact help
  3. Stay Calm & Wait for the rescue & Contact other people if you get a signal.
  4. Call the security office again to figure out how much time to wait.
  5. Firefighters arrive.
  6. Be rescued.

I thought…
The accident is rare but probably a lot of people have experienced it. I was scared because it was ambiguous how much time I should wait and how safe I was in the elevator even though I knew that I would not be injured or die in the lift. I felt I needed an emergency guide inside the elevator.