Customer Service Begets Small Business Loyalty

I just had to write about a recent experience I had with a small business in Des Moines. Windsor Vacuum ("where you’re only a stranger once") has been doing business for years, and I was reminded the past week why they’ve been so successful. We recently had a vacuum start to make noises and the rollers stopped working so I took it in.

  • Friendliness. I was greeted with an enthusiastic smile and genunie friendliness. It’s amazing what a little courtesy and friendliness can do. It makes you want to do business there.
  • Passion. I chuckled a little bit when the gal who took my vacuum talked like I was boarding my pet. "We’ll take good care of your vacuum – give it lots of love." But, by personalizing the vacuum and taking ownership for caring for it – it made me realize that they cared more about my vacuum than I did. Now, that’s the kind of place you want to go for repairs.
  • Efficiency. I received a friendly message on my voice mail just a day later that it was ready. It not only exceeded my expectations but also alleviated the feeling I get from so many businesses who consider that it is my responsibility to check on them.
  • Honesty. I picked up my vacuum cleaner. It was cleaned up and almost looked new. The total charge: $3.00. "Just needed a new belt" the young man behind the counter told us. No $75.00 fee just to open it up. No crazy one-hour minimum for labor.

Where do you think I’m going to go when I need my vacuum repaired? Where do you think I’m going to go when I need a new vacuum? I think all small businesses could learn a lesson or two from the folks at Windsor Vacuum!

Related Posts:
Can You Find Great Service in a Small Town?
Lower Prices Isn’t Always What Customer’s Want
QA for Any Business: Your Calls Can Be Monitored to Ensure Quality Service

  6 comments for “Customer Service Begets Small Business Loyalty

  1. August 7, 2006 at 9:59 am

    Wow — I hope you show this post to these guys, Tom. A book could be written on each of these four traits. Would you agree that we lack practical strategies to help people develop these? Since the brain rewires by doing… it would be fun to create the doables from your list as a way to pass it forward:-) Thanks for the thought!

  2. August 7, 2006 at 11:59 am

    My gosh Tom – can you convince them to open up another store on the east coast? It’s nice to know that this type of service still exists. All the best.

  3. August 8, 2006 at 12:31 am

    I can’t wait until the day when every business does business like this 😉 That would truly be Heaven on earth. You never know! Such the optimist that I am…

  4. August 8, 2006 at 2:27 am

    I agree! Friendliness, passion, efficiency, and honesty—very basic things yet apparently so hard to do. Windsor Vacuum is one of a kind and like Maria, I hope to experience the same service from other companies, too.

  5. August 8, 2006 at 7:28 am

    Hey everyone! Thanks for the great comments.
    You’re right, Ellen. Putting the “doables” together would be a logical (brain-based) next step! Thanks for the encouragement.
    Next time I’m in Windsor Vacuum, I’ll see if they’re willing to clone themselves and head out east, Starbucker.
    Let’s keep working toward that goal, Maria. As I’m always telling my training classes, if you’ve “done the best you can with what you have” then pat yourself on the back. That’s all we can do.
    Meikah, you could always come to Des Moines next time your vacuum acts up. Wouldn’t that make for a great blog post 🙂

  6. August 8, 2006 at 9:57 am

    Great post, Tom. It’s inspiring to hear someone doing it *right.*
    Plus, I laughed out loud at this line: “…the gal who took my vacuum talked like I was boarding my pet.” Thanks!
    : )

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