Make me think you care
February 14, 2014
"Quality, service, price — the customer expects at least two."
Yes, that's an accurate statement, but what's not often discussed is how the customer is made to feel about doing business with a particular retailer, contractor or service provider.
Does that clerk at City Market or the voice at the other end of the phone at the gas company give the impression you're interrupting his or her work or do you get a sense they actually care about assisting you?
When an employee of a business makes me feel welcome or that they're serious about assisting me, I take note, and thought this might be a good time to comment about a few such businesses here in the valley.
For years I've brought my car down to Denver for maintenance. But recently my wife turned me on to Leadfoot Linda's in Eagle-Vail. What a pleasant surprise! The moment I walked through the door, I was made to feel as if my business mattered. Their work is fairly priced and professional, but what really impressed me was the fact that they take appointments even to get tires rotated. To me, that policy speaks volumes.
Usually, I don't mention restaurants in these commentaries because everyone's tastes are different. But since Sato's (sushi) in Edwards moved to their new location across from Cafe 163, my wife and I have been there for dinner four times.
Obviously, we're sushi fans. But aside from the quality of the food (outstanding), it's the attitude that Peter, the owner, and Marti, the hostess, have instilled in their staff that keeps us coming back. By pure chance the past several times we dined there, our server was a delightful young woman named Tiffany. But the excellent service and attitude went beyond just one server. The entire wait staff gave us the impression they can't do enough for their customers. Bobbi and I will return.
Recently, my wife was looking for a specific pair of ski mittens. In store after store, the answer was the same: "Sorry, we're sold out!" When we asked when do you think you'll get more in, the answer again was the same: "I dunno." But our experience at Vail Sports in the village was the exception. One of their sales people, a young man by the name of Spencer, literally walked the extra mile for us.
When he discovered they, too, were sold out of these particular ski mittens, he told us to wait while he ran over to Vail Resorts Mountain Plaza rental location and found those mittens for Bobbi. We always feel good about doing business at Vail Sports, and Spencer proved that the tradition continues.
Whenever I walk into Any Occasion Gifts in Edwards, Daryl, the owner, and her daughter Terry make me feel like I'm visiting family. Sometimes, I'm just getting ideas. Nonetheless, it's clear they are there to assist and always do their best to make my experience a pleasant one.
Jessica, of Firkins Garage Door is another business owner who always makes one feel important. Recently I had a semi-urgent garage door issue with a rental unit I was in the process of selling. When I called, I got their voice mail, which is not unusual for a small service business. But what is unusual is that all I needed to do was leave the message stating the specifics and when I returned home there was a return message saying, "We'll get right on it and I'll have someone there first thing tomorrow morning." I feel good doing business with people like that.
Doug and Patty Parker, of Apex Appliance, fall into that same category. We call, they respond immediately, and that makes us feel like we're in good hands.
Folks who read my commentaries know I'm no fan of government in its generic sense. From my perspective, the smaller the better where government is concerned. However, recent experiences with Health and Human Services at the county oblige me to offer plaudits to these county workers. No details will be forthcoming except to say that when working with HHS, the word that best describes them is "responsive."
We have quite a few trees on our property, and keeping them healthy is a job for a professional. We've chosen Mark Stelle, an urban forestry consultant to handle that task and here's an example of why: Several times every summer we'll find Mark walking around our property, checking things out. When we ask what he's doing, he'll answer, "I was out riding my bike and thought I'd stop by and see if the trees were healthy or if they needed spraying or trimming or other maintenance." In a word, Mark is proactive and that makes us feel like we made the right choice.
There are many fine businesses in the valley and while quality, service and price are important, it's also how we feel about doing business with these folks that really keeps us return customers.
Quote of the day: "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." — Walt Disney
Butch Mazzuca is an Edwards resident.