Nearly every morning I get an email from blogger extraordinaire, Chris Brogan . Sometimes I learn something and sometimes I just delete the message.
This morning I received an email that really made me sit up and pay attention because it was on issues I’m really interested in; customer service and shopping local.
Here is the opening to Chris Brogan’s piece;
I sat at the counter at my local restaurant the other day and waited for over 7 minutes without anyone bothering to acknowledge that I was there.
And then I walked out. And so did my money. For good. In fact, I drove to McDonalds, got some scrambled eggs and an iced coffee, and was in and out of the system within the same 7 minutes. (You can save your comments with disdain for McDonalds. If you’re a parent, you go there, unless you don’t. Either way. It’s not the point.)
Now, before you try to defend this other place, no, it wasn’t busy. Yes, at least two employees had seen me, and frankly, I don’t much care. If I had been even greeted, I would have been able to tolerate the wait. But not even a hello.
By comparison, the Ale House and the Barking Dog (both local places) have trained their entire staff to greet anyone they see walking in, and wish everyone walking out a great day. You feel warmly greeted there.
Like Chris, I like good customer service. I’m not talking about someone kissing my a$$ to get me to shop in their store, I just expect people to treat me and my ideas with respect.
As most of you know, I love leather. Wallets, briefcases, satchels, belts, overnight bags and more.
So the fact is, in this age of the interwebz, everything is a “local place”. My friend, Roge at Bay Towne Leather is a guy who knows how to treat customers. He typically repsonds within a few hours when I email him questions about the leather products he makes and he is very open to trying to do things in new and creative ways. (I have a cool new wallet on order from him, my first foray into Horween leather). He tells me he is always learning from his customers.
Another shop I have been having a great time with is Marlondo Leather. Once again, he (Ma Londo is the owner) works in his small shop with a handful of other leather crafters. Ma is always open to doing things differently to make his customers happy. Of course he has his limits, but he, like Roge, is always willing to listen and learn.
The difference between these shops and many others I have tried to deal with is that the owners treat me, the customer with respect. I like that.
These shops may not shout out my name when I walk in the door of their shops but they certainly do know how to treat me, and all their customers with respect. If you are looking for a leather wallet or bag or briefcase, I encourage you to visit Ma or Roge. And let them know that I say hi.