Front Porch Step Two

Step Two of the front-porch steps rebuild process involved traveling out to Sunbury Cedar on River Road in Delta, BC to get the lumber.

Sunbury Lumber
Sunbury Lumber

There is an interesting observation I have made in this front-porch steps rebuild project so far. Let me back up a minute to explain my observation.

I recently bought a little digital camera as  gift for a friend. I made that purchase at my local London Drugs partly because I wanted to show my support for London Drugs after the Canucks Riot issue and also because I have always been treated very well in the past when making purchases from them.

Some might call what they do at London Drugs the “up-sell”. See, when you buy I camera they ask if you want to buy a memory card for the camera. And a little case for it, extended warranty, batteries, anything else you might need to go along with the new camera. Someone might resent this approach but I truly appreciate it.

See when I go meet my friend and give them the camera I want them to be able to start snapping pictures right away. I don’t want to give them a gift they cannot use until they go to a retailer and buy all the little gadgets needed to make the purchase “right.” I appreciate that.

Funny thing is, when I went to buy the lumber for the front-porch steps while the staff were super friendly and helpful they did not “help” me by offering any of the little extras that I would need. They did not offer me things like fasteners (screws), joist hangers, screw-driver bits, or even the pre-cut stair stringers even though I made it perfectly clear that I was rebuilding a set of stairs.

Of course when I asked about things they were very willing to help me find what I was looking for and to help me load it on the truck. But I thought it was funny that they did not make any effort to suggest the extras that I would inevitably need.

As it turns out, I did need the screws and joist hangers and screwdriver bits so I made a trip to the local Home Depot where the exact same thing happened. I was watching the way that I was approached in the Home Depot and when I bought the new Ridgid cordless drill/screw-driver unit I asked if it came with a bit. Perfect opportunity for the sales guy to remind me that they were having a sale on screw-driver bit packages, but nothing. I searched for the bits.

When I went for the paint/stain/preservative, same thing. They were super nice and provided me with the can of stuff I needed. I had to ask if they had an applicator they recommended. I had to ask if there was a tool for opening the can. All these are opportunities for the retailer to complete the sale and make a happy customer. I don’t want to get home and find that I need to run back to the store to get a paint brush.

Top customer service demands that the guy selling the paint automatically ask if the customer needs a brush.

Please note that I’m not complaining about the service. They were friendly and kind people. I knew what I needed and I bought what I needed. I just see it as an opportunity that these retailers are missing. An opportunity that the staff of London Drugs are not missing.

Tomorrow is step three of the steps project.