Treat Your Retail Customers with Care - A Christmas Tree Story
Tip #387 - A Christmas Tree Story
Dear Tip of the Weeker,
You’ve heard us say it time and time again, in fact, you’re probably sick of hearing us say it - love your customers and the money will follow.
Here’s my very personal story of one store owner and how he has expressed the spirit of this philosophy for me...
Three years ago my father died suddenly, unexpectedly, a week after Thanksgiving. The grief and shock made it almost impossible to feel the joy that Christmas brings. I certainly didn’t feel like decorating.
But we had a three year old little boy at home who was expecting Christmas lights on the house and a Christmas tree next to the fireplace.
And so I went to buy a tree from Dale at Grand Haven Garden House.
I didn’t think it was going to be so hard, but standing there among the Frasier firs and Scotch pines I started crying.
Someone must have spotted me, because pretty quickly Dale was at my side with his hand on my shoulder. He knew my Mom and Dad - they were his customers just like I was. He knew why I was crying and he cared enough to help.
He told me not to worry. To just go home and he’d take care of everything. He’d pick out a nice tree for me and have one of his guys drop it off at my house later that day.
A simple gesture, but it meant the world to me.
Here’s the business lesson: There are lots of wonderful retail garden centers in my area, but because of this one gesture I will always, always buy my Christmas tree from the Grand Haven Garden House. And probably lots of other stuff, too.
But wait, there’s more! Fast forward three years...
The Grand Haven Garden House delivered my Mom’s Christmas tree for her; stand attached and ready to decorate. It was leaning a little bit when the guy unloaded it, but she was late for a meeting, so she sent him on his way.
By evening, the lean had become a LEAN and she called me for help.
We tried shimming it with blocks of wood and propping it up with plywood.
So I called Dale for suggestions. Can you believe that he left his store, came right over to my Mom’s house, brought a different kind of tree stand as a loaner, and had the thing as straight as an arrow in less than a half hour?
You see, I don’t get the feeling that Mom and I were getting extra special treatment. It’s just that Dale treats all his retail customers with care and kindness. Because he truly does care about them and he understands the lifetime of loyalty a small gesture can bring.Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,