Saturday, July 26, 2008

Going The Extra Mile

As a teenager, I used to work in my father's card, gift and party supply store on Saturday's. The store would close at five 0'clock but I was always ready to leave at 4:45. At five o'clock, my father would lock the doors to the store and then check out the cash register, he'd place the money in a brown paper bag and bring it home to prepare the bank deposit. I was always excited when we were ready to leave.

Invariably, after the doors were locked and we were preparing to leave, a customer would knock on the door and want to come in to the store to buy something. My father would gladly unlock the door and welcome them in and help them. I, in-turn would get antsy and agitated. All I wanted to do was leave, go home and be with my friends.

I would ask my dad why he let them in after he had already closed the store? After all, the hours the store was open were clearly posted on the door. If it was after five, the store was closed, period.... end and we should go home! Right! Wrong!

My father taught me a valuable lesson about going the extra mile that I did not come to appreciate until many years later. He told me that you never new if that customer who came knocking on the door after the store closed would be the customer who would spend hundreds of dollars on wedding invitations, holiday cards a Cross pen or they needed party supplies for their church or school social. Either way, he was in business to serve his customers and he would do what ever he had to do to make them happy and earn their business.

And then it happened. A couple came knocking at the door after five. He let them in and we didn't leave until nine o'clock because he was writing up a big wedding invitation order (big sale, big margins). I remember how excited my father was driving home that night because that order probably made his week.

My father got it ( I didn't). He new that if he went the extra mile, he'd get the sale, get the referrals and have a customers for life.

Fast forward to this past Thursday evening. I walk down to the parking garage to find the front, driver side window on my new car smashed and sitting in the front seat. My new GPS and garage door opener were stolen. Needless to say, I was a little upset.

I go back up to my office and Google 24 hour auto glass repair businesses. It is now after six and I'm getting everyone's answering service. They all want to schedule an appointment for Friday sometime. I keep dialing because I'm sure that I can find someone to come out and fix the window that evening. I finally call Glass1One. Ray, the owner answers the phone. I tell him my tale of woe and he explains to me that I can call everyone in Phoenix and no one will be able to fix my window that evening, because no one stocks the glass. They all go to the same wholesale warehouses to get the windows and they all close at five.

Ray, then went on to say that he would be more than happy to be at the warehouse at six in the morning, pick up the window, be at my house before seven and have it replaced by 7:30. With that said, Ray and I get on a conference call with the people at State Farm Insurance to work out all the details for payment. We agree on everything and then Ray made a comment to me that reminded me of my father and the lesson I had learned from him many years ago.

Ray said....
"I was closed and just getting ready to leave and heard the phone ring and decided to answer it before I left."
Ahhh..... Ray gets it!! Ray went the extra mile! He didn't have to but he did! I appreciate it and I will let everyone know about it.

As promised, Ray showed up at the house at 6:45 in the morning, replaced the window and I was good to go.

Thanks Ray!

Going the extra mile is just smart business!

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