One of the first lessons any business owner / entrepreneur learns is that you can never put a price on having great service partners. I’d like to share a story with you of an actual experience I have had with one my long time vendors. I have been doing business with Jim and his air conditioning firm for over 5 years. His prices are always competitive and his service is always excellent.
I first met Jim when I constructing one of my dog daycare facilities. We needed to install an air conditioning system in a section of the building where there previously was none. As with all my construction bidding, I met with 2 other vendors in addition to Jim. I reviewed all 3 bids and Jim’s had stood out based on price and system design. The other 2 vendors had prices which were significantly higher than Jim’s. One vendor insisted on much large equipment and a more complex system. The other had recommended similar equipment to Jim but his price was significantly higher.
Jim and I had sat down and reviewed his plans. He and I discussed his proposal and why his bid was so much lower. He explained to me that the size of the area, the tonage of the equipment, the amount of fresh air that needed to be exchanged on a hourly basis were all factors for his recommendation. He also proceeded to tell me that he would actually be putting in 2 systems for his price, not one. Each system would be strong enough to serve my needs, but since my business was the care of animals. Redundancy was something I should consider if I ever lost use of one of the systems on a hot South Florida day. In addition, based on my occupancy and usage needs, I could shut one of them down to save on utility costs. Needless to say, Jim won the bid. The install, the permit process, and the systems all went according to plan. For the past 5 years, I have used Jim for all of my AC work not only at my stores, but also at my home.
Recently, I had a problem with my AC system at my house. It was 8pm when I had arrived home and realized my AC was not working. I tried to turn it on and heard a loud bang and immediately saw smoke. I called Jim. When he answered the phone he said “Mr. Corrente, How Can I Make Your Day Better?” What a shock? Here I was calling him at 8pm, expecting to get his voice mail and have to wait until morning for assistance. We discussed the problem; he came right over, diagnosed the problem and scheduled me for service the next morning.
That is service! That is customer care! That is customer focus! For all of my readers out there who want a sure fire way to attract, retain and reward your customers, next time they call, follow Jim’s example and ask them “How Can I Make Your Day Better?”