#23: Tina Wills – Ecommerce Customer
Tina Wills Podcast Transcript
Neil Dudley: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Pederson’s Farms podcast. We are so excited you’re here. We appreciate you joining us. And we look forward to sharing these conversations with thought leaders from our industry. They’re going to paint a picture from every perspective – consumer, customer, vendor, employee, and peer – that I think is going to be super valuable, and we’re really excited to share. So, thanks for tuning in. Remember don’t tune out, and grab life by the bacon.
Folks, I’m so glad you are listening to this episode of the podcast. These episodes that are conversations with us, between us and our consumers are the most valuable, ultimately, because without these beautiful people that buy and eat Pederson’s products and that value what we do, Pederson’s doesn’t exist. So, at the end of the day, it comes down to consumers feeling like it’s a fair trade for their dollar to be spent on our product. We have one of those with us today. Her name is Tina Wills. She is a lady that is lending her time, her free time, she’s off work today, so she’s spending it recording a podcast with us. And Tina, I just can’t say thank you enough for doing that.
Tina Wills: You are welcome. Glad to be here.
Neil Dudley: Yes. Now, just kind of tell everybody a little bit about who you are, and what was the first time, or how did Pederson’s become a part of your diet, your lifestyle?
Tina Wills: I am Tina Wills, and I’m a nurse and been a nurse for, it’s my second career, so I think it’s been almost 10 years now. So always trying to eat, feel better, be a little healthier. I want to spend as long as I’m here on earth moving. I don’t want to be bedbound; I’ve seen too many patients that are bed bound in wheelchairs. I want to do that. I want to be active for the rest of my life. So, we’re always trying to improve health through eating and exercise or moving, just moving. But my daughter had a health crisis, if you will, about four years ago now. She started getting really sick, and she ended up with Crohn’s. So, one of the ways we did was change her diet, change our food habits. We cut out all processed foods, we cut out sugars, tried to cut out white flour, but that’s- we found a way around that because we love bread here to go with our protein.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, you mentioned earlier, Italian heritage. That makes me- like you say Italian, I think bread, pasta.
Tina Wills: So, we started looking for things that she could eat that was no sugar added, no preservatives. And we came across at a local store the Pederson’s bacon and a couple other local stores that had it. But like I said, we’d go and they’d be out. They’d have a stock of it, and I would buy it all. And I finally told my husband, I said, I have to find this somewhere online or something. And I found your website and we started ordering from y’all. And bacon’s our big thing we order. Then we found the breakfast sausage and we found the Italian sausage and ham. We buy different things each month. We started a subscription and just have gone from there. We don’t eat anything else that involves pork unless it’s from y’all.
Neil Dudley: Wow. So, you’re like a superstar consumer really. But it makes me feel very good to hear that story, to hear how we can play a role in helping your daughter’s health, helping you accomplish your goals. By the way, the grocery store- This I think is a decent exploration for us to have, was it Rouses?
Tina Wills: One of them. Actually, the first time I found it at was a very- a one stop- it’s a locally owned one health food, I call it a health food store; I don’t know if she really is. She’s right here about a mile, two miles from my house. And she’s called [Old Paps], she calls herself Old Paps and her distributor had bought her some bacon. But she pretty much stocks anything that’s no preservatives, no additives, and things like that, but she’s very small and she had it first, and then Rouses was this other place.
Neil Dudley: Great. Well, just shout out to those retailers. I think it’s I hope the mom and pops, the companies that have multiple stores that have built their business in that way, they’re solving your problems too, or they’re offering you solutions that you’re searching for. So just high five to them. Now as a business, we’ve kind of been in Rouses, out of Rouses, we’re back in. So that’s one reason this e-commerce solution works really well. As we’re building our business, sometimes we’re in, out, it gets to be- I know consumers find a product they really like, ours sometimes, sometimes other people’s. Well, maybe the consumer base isn’t big enough really in this demographic where you live, for whatever reason, and that retailer can’t justify the real estate in their set for our product; it just doesn’t move enough. So that’s where the e-commerce makes a really good option. By the way, I love that you’re a subscriber. Subscriptions are in e-commerce a great thing for us, when I say us, I mean Pederson’s, because we can kind of count on when that turn’s going to come, when we need to have your product ready. It makes for a better flow of business for us. Now, Robin-
Robin Bouck: Inventory movement is a big one too, lately especially.
Tina Wills: With COVID, all this crazy COVID mess we have, it’s easier to shop online then to go out to the stores and be with everybody. And then when we were all shut down, it was much easier to shop online and have everything delivered to the house.
Neil Dudley: Now, prior to COVID, would you say you were comfortable shopping for your proteins and meats online? Or is that something you’ve kind of always been comfortable with or is that new?
Tina Wills: No, we’ve always been comfortable online. We prefer online.
Neil Dudley: Right. Now, I would venture to guess a lot of people weren’t prior to COVID comfortable getting their food online. What made you comfortable that way? Or is it just-
Tina Wills: I think time, the time it spends, I’d rather spend it- it’s quicker than going in the store and trying to find the product and then it’s not there. Then I have to go to another store, then I have to wait in line at most stores. And so, the time, and there’s just so much going on in this house. And I’ve got to come home and cook, and that’s a big difference is we cook a lot more since my daughter, since the diagnosis. We used to eat out quite a bit, and we’d try to eat healthy, but that’s hard to do out. So, we cook a lot more, so I need that extra time here in the kitchen to cook and clean.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, that is so true. Time is our most valuable asset. And if we, as a company, can save you some time and help you have time to cook because that’s important to you, to me, that’s a thing we need to be focused on. Your daughter’s health, like is it- is it better or is this diet changed? Tell me, I don’t know a lot about Crohn’s, but I’m curious.
Tina Wills: Much, much better. So, Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease. They don’t know specifically what causes it, but pretty much your body attacks the lining of your GI tract from your mouth to your- where you-
Neil Dudley: Out the bottom end.
Tina Wills: Yeah, I’m trying to think of a good way to put it.
Neil Dudley: There is no real good way to put it, but it is a fact of life.
Tina Wills: Mostly it starts in the small intestines, which is where hers was. She was very sick. She had, most times you have diarrhea with it, she had constipation, which is what started the abdominal pain. Her quality of life just went really down. She was a college student, second year college student, and away from home. She had to move back home. She did finish out that year, but then she came back home. And she’s had- we first started with a nutritionist that we found online. And he had Crohn’s and healed himself in the way he eats. And she did real well with that, but she was trying to do it by herself up three hours away from home. So, she did well until like finals hit, and then she started eating fast food and got really sick. And they measure, one of the gold standards with Crohn’s is they measure what they call a fecal calprotectin in your stool, and it shows how many white blood cells you have in your stool, and normal is like zero, close to zero, and a little bit- somewhere around zero. And she had like almost 2000 when we started the process with this online nutritionist. And by the time she got tired of him – we loved him, but she got tired of him because she’s 19, she didn’t want to be told what to do. He had her down to like 1200, and she was feeling better. And I think that was part of the reason she lapsed back. But she realized that it was the food. And when she came back home is when we really started cooking well and trying to find products that fit the no preservatives, no processing whatsoever, no sugars. And that was a key for her. And so, she got better and better, but she did end up on medicine and that helped her. And she ended up having surgery to remove that part of her colon. But now we’ve continued the lifestyle because she can relapse anytime. And so, our goal is to never relapse again. But yeah, so she loves, like I said, bacon, egg sandwiches, and so bacon, every day, she eats bacon. And we try to get a piece in there sometimes, but we like the breakfast sausage and the ham, so we’re good.
Neil Dudley: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing that. I think it might not be Crohn’s, it might be- There’s kind of a lot of these dietary related or I guess I want to call them diseases that you can’t really put your finger exactly on what causes them or why, Hashimoto’s comes to mind. We’re doing this thing at Pederson’s where I’m doing a 75 Hard, another guy’s doing a Whole30, and another guy- a gal is doing this PCOS which stands for polycystic ovary syndrome. Anyways, she’s exploring how diet will change her realities in that kind of challenge in her life, with that challenge in her life. I just think considering that your food can really make you healthier is so important.
Robin Bouck: It’s not just that, what’s not in the food. When you realize what you’re putting in your body and that food has the power to be medicine and the absence of chemical preservatives or the things that you don’t want in your food makes a huge difference in your overall health.
Tina Wills: It causes a lot of inflammation I think that they’re going to find. And then our gut health is so tied to our mental health. If our gut is not right, our mental health is not going to be correct. I think depression and a lot of-
Neil Dudley: Oh man, I just want to say yeehaw. That is such a true statement. Yeehaw. I mean, way to go, Tina. I hope the listeners will think about that. Like if you feel kind of just off mentally, think about how food, gut health is so related to that. Pederson’s is battling through some e-commerce challenges right now. Robin is right in the throes of the reality that we built our business, we do subscriptions, we’re having to change some of the basic truths about those subscriptions. I’m so curious, Tina, how you may be feeling about this, or Robin, you could tell me, maybe Tina’s been one of the people you’ve had to talk to about, hey, we’re changing our subscriptions, prices are going up. Maybe Tina hasn’t been, she’s outside of that, like we have more than one subscriber. But I think it’s worth exploring, it’s worth saying out loud on this podcast for anybody to hear, this is a reality. As a business, you’re the most important person to us, right? Consumers, without your love, we’re not in business. But then we also have to be able to communicate in truth things as a business may have to change, or maybe we just didn’t know what we were doing the first step and we realized, uh-oh, we’ve got to do this a little different. Robin, is there anything there that I’m leaving out? Or Tina, even in your experience, is our relationship good enough that we can have that conversation?
Tina Wills: Oh yeah, yeah. And Robin, we’ve been through a lot with shipping mainly. And then when I first subscribed, I think y’all changed how you include the shipping or something, and the prices have changed. They’ve actually gone down a little bit for me. But either way, I’m here for the long haul. We’ve had our own business, so we know what it’s like with costs and getting people to pay for our service and all that. So, it’s like I understand all that. And it’s like if it goes up a little bit, it’s worth it. If the price goes up a little bit, it’s worth it. And the customer service I’ve been receiving has been wonderful, excellent. Can’t speak enough about Robin and her handling of the shipping issues we’ve had. We live down here in Louisiana. It’s hot during the summer, so if the shipping company doesn’t get our product to us quickly, it’s not any good. The first time we took the temperature, it was above 40, and I’m like is real? Do I really have to not eat it?
Neil Dudley: It is sad.
Robin Bouck: The disappointment that comes when you get your order and there’s food waste, and you were excited to get it and looking forward to it. I mean, you were instrumental when we first were shipping through our third-party shipper and with your temperature gun readings of every order you received, that was invaluable feedback for me to be able to go to the shipper and say, no, sorry, that wasn’t good enough. How do we pivot? How do we make adjustments? We need to troubleshoot our packaging, our dry ice amounts. Tina in Louisiana’s still not getting a frozen delivery. How do we fix this? And I think since we opened our Georgia distribution center, you and I have talked a lot less.
Tina Wills: And I think the shipper sees our name and says get it there.
Robin Bouck: And with our price changes too, I think you are one of the subscribers that benefited from the shipping costs being factored into the item cost because you always order more than three items usually for every order. So you always benefit from having your order meet the minimum value for free shipping. So, you’ve figured out how to work the system and get the most bang for your buck I think.
Tina Wills: And we freeze our product when we don’t- as soon as it comes in, because as I was telling, the bacon is our big staple, and we have run out in the past and it’s not pretty around here if we run out of bacon. So, we keep it frozen, always ahead. So, yeah, we kind of work that one. We always keep it- We don’t want to run out. We always keep product in the house.
Neil Dudley: Yeah. And I appreciate your loyalty. I think it’s our job to be here and earn that trust and loyalty. I think anybody that’s thinking about giving Pederson’s products a try, you can hear Tina’s experience here. So, Tina, let’s get real, outside of these temperature issues, which it’s pretty easy for us to blame the shipper right now. But I think we own some of that too. I mean, it’s still our product that needs to get to you. It’s still our responsibility. Yeah, the shipper makes for kind of an easy scapegoat, and the truth is that’s where a lot of the problem lies, and we don’t have a lot of control in that particular case, but we’re still on the hook to make that right. Okay so outside of that, is there any other thing that Pederson’s could do better or should do better from your perspective to make it better for you?
Tina Wills: I found the website pretty easy to use. I like technology. I’m not the most technology inclined person. So, it is easy to use. The first couple of times I tried to remove something from my subscription and add something else, it took me a little bit to figure that out, but I got it and remembered it the next time, I had to think about it, but remembered it. It’s pretty easy to use. I did, when you first invited me to be on the blog, I went through the links you had in the email, but I tried to go find it on my own. I had a hard time finding the blog and I don’t know if it was me just not searching right. Or if it’s an easier way for people to find that, to find the products and the blog. I don’t know. I’m not that- my son is a programmer or something with computers and he’s studying, but I don’t know that much about- I can use the technology, but that’s it.
Neil Dudley: Yes, ma’am. Well, I think you’re touching on some great feedback for us right there. I want like all the Pederson’s team, all of our group that helps us make this thing that we call the podcast and this brand that we’re building- that’s just so valuable. Thank you so much for telling us. Maybe to explain some of that or just the truth is the podcast, blog is hosted or it lives on a different URL than our website. And I think we need to consider that and to think about how search engines are treating that. So, when you go search Pederson’s, is our podcast site coming up? It sounds like it isn’t. So that’s a great thing we can work to be better at.
Robin Bouck: I think we’re constantly adapting our website and adding and changing. And once we realize there’s an issue, we try to fix it as soon as possible, especially if it has to do with user ability.
Neil Dudley: Oh yeah. That user experience with the removing stuff from the subscription and adding stuff has certainly been talked about a lot. Okay so, what’s the one thing in your life you’re like, man, I wish I could have this in a clean protein? Has your daughter ever said, man, mom just wish I could have X? I can’t think of it, but-
Tina Wills: No, I mean, what we ate before is pretty much what we eat now. We have found what we eat. Our big proteins have always been, I guess, pork related because we like the bacons and the hams and ground- not so much ground pork, but Italian sausage and the sausages. Y’all have all that, everything that fits our needs. Our other big thing is chicken.
Neil Dudley: I was going to say, so if you’re not eating pork, what do you eat? Is it chicken, beef, turkey?
Tina Wills: We’re not big beef eaters. We do a lot of ground- some ground beef, hamburgers, and stuff, but I was raised on beef. My grandfather had, it’s not a farm by any means, but had cows that he always raised. And I’m just- I can remember being in high school and my friends would be so jealous because we had steak, and I’m like ugh. Just bread and a piece of ham. They were like you have steak every night, and I’m like okay. But so, we’re satisfied with that. I do like the recipes because I do get in ruts with what I cook and try to branch it out a little bit. So, I like that now that y’all are doing that. We get the recipes and all that, so we’re not eating the same thing all the time.
Neil Dudley: I’ll tell you right now, I did a recipe of bacon burnt ends last night. My kids had some friends over, we were just having a big, fun time together. I made some bacon burnt ends, and they all started saying, “Give my dad that recipe.” So, I mean, I know that recipes are fun. They make it easier, assuming you have all the ingredients, there’s all of those pieces, but we certainly are going to keep that up with the recipes and hopefully providing a resource for our consumers to check out stuff that really turns out to be other people have made and shared those recipes with us. Robin, have we left any meat on the bone here that we should be sure we get Tina to talk about before we say thank you so much for being here and move on to the next part of the day?
Robin Bouck: No, I don’t think so. I think it’s just a great reflective time for us to sit here. I mean, this is the first conversation we’ve had in months, I think, but that’s a good thing because we haven’t needed to talk. It’s a good thing when I don’t hear from people repeatedly, unless it’s just positive feedback. But I’m so glad you were willing to participate and come on the podcast and talk with us.
Neil Dudley: Yes. I’m just thinking inside of my 75 Hard Challenge I’m doing, I’m just reading and I’m learning. And one of the things that stands out in my mind that I’ve read recently is the relationships are what matter. Like in life, the relationships are really what matters, and I’m so glad Robin and Tina have a relationship. Now, Tina and I have a relationship, so there may be a scenario in which Tina needs to talk to me and now she’s totally comfortable with it. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but we’ve built a relationship. I think as a brand, as a company, we want those, we want these communities, we want everybody to feel like, hey, Pederson’s is in this with me and they are here to hear what I have to say and to be better, because really that is true.
Tina Wills: That is, and it is, it’s all about relationships.
Neil Dudley: And those relationships are inside our website and that user experience. That’s also our relationship, even though it’s not a human. Like you’re still having a relationship with our brand through that website. So, I think for other brands or other companies listening, that’s an important thing to remember. Those emails that we send Tina, that experience she has on our website, when she’s going to come be on the podcast and she wants to hear our other podcasts so she can get a feel for what this is going to be like or all about, if she can’t find that, then that’s not a very good relationship. We need to make sure we make that relationship as seamless and as kind of fun as it can be. All right, cool. Now that was just beautiful. I loved every second of it, but I think we cannot end it without saying or giving Tina a big round of applause as a nurse in this time in this country. Yes, Tina, this is applause. For everybody out there watching this on YouTube, you get to see us clap. If you’re just listening, you didn’t get to see us clap, but me and Robin definitely clapped. And Tina, thank you for what you do. I know you’re out there helping people in need, and really all of our nurses all around the country or the world even, like that health care staff has gotten zero break. It’s almost- I want to say almost, it’s not almost, it absolutely is the same as first responders, military. You’re just selfless people that are doing a very important job. Thank you so much for being on here. And everybody, thanks for coming to the podcast, listening, and learning about Pederson’s. We’re so glad you did that. We know your time is valuable, and we just hope that it adds some understanding to you as to what Pederson’s is all about, what we intend to do here. And Tina, put in another order.
Tina Wills: I will. Every month.
Neil Dudley: Okay, thank you. That that’ll be it. Have a great rest of your day and give that daughter of yours a high five from us.
Tina Wills: She was trying to be here. She wanted to be in on it.
Neil Dudley: Oh man, that would’ve been cool. Yeah, next time. Bye. Thank you. Thank you.
Hey, everybody. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. It’s been a blast bringing this to you, and I sure hope you enjoyed it and found value. If you did, tell a friend, share it out on social media, hit that subscribe button, or go check us out at pedersonsfarms.com. We sure hope you do. And thanks for being here.
One of our loyal e-commerce consumers – Tina Wills comes to the show as an experienced online shopper who has helped us to fix problems within our fulfillment system and website user experience reality. Through her transparent communication with Robin our e-commerce lead we are able to learn. We are willing to bet, her healthy lifestyle choices, and the fact that they are driven by health concerns within her family is highly relatable to you or someone you know!
Fun fact: This part got left out of the show but I called Tina the wrong last name at the beginning of the recording and we had to start over…embarrassing!
(1:25) – Tina’s background and relationship with Pederson’s
(5:55) – The concept of buying meats online
(8:05) – Tina’s daughter dealing with Crohn’s
(12:47) – Recent e-commerce struggles
(17:45) – From a customer perspective, what else can Pederson’s do to make for a better experience?
(20:17) – Is there any product you wish Pederson’s would make?
(22:48) – The importance of customer relationships
(25:10) – Wrap Up
The Pederson’s Farms podcast is produced by Straight Up Podcasts & Root and Roam.