I had an experience this past weekend that reminded me again of my love for local business. I had a handle break on a sliding door. I needed to replace the part right away so I took the part to my area “big box” store. When I showed it to the store employee, she pointed me in the direction of the correct isle and then left me to myself.
Not finding the part at “big box” store #1, I got back in my car and headed to “big box” store #2. There the employee gave me a card with an 800 number on it to call the manufacturer to order the part. After that, I told my son, “Let’s go to the local hardware store, they might be able to help.”
When I walked in the store, I felt ashamed that I had not come there first. The reason you ask? I was greeted as soon as I walked into the store by two (yes two) smiling employees who asked what they could do for me. When I held up the broken part, one of these great employees took me right the bin where there were new one’s that I need. He even inspected the good parts and made suggestions about how I could secure the handle so that it would stay fixed!
I needed to pick up some screws and so I headed for that department and was “picked up” by another employee before I could even think to look for the screws on my own. He, along with two other employees, walked me over to the right bin and found the right screws for my part. They didn’t leave me until all I needed, I had. That’s local business know-how.
After I got to the car, I told my son, “You have just seen why we should shop local FIRST.” And as far I my shopping habits are concerned I will do just that!
In these times of financial struggles for so many local businesses, a lesson could be learned from this great hardware store. Pay close attention to your customers from the time they enter the store until they leave satisfied. This will set you apart from the national competition and create a loyal client base that will make your business strong and steady for years to come.
Talk more later ….