As I wrap up work on a full length small business history, Bucky’s: Stories and Recollections from 50 Years in Business, which chronicles the life of a small engine repair and retail shop in western Wyoming, one truth keeps coming back to me:
It’s about how this small business was founded and staked its success on customer service.
Blah, blah. Do you, like me, roll your eyes when you see that term? It has become so cliched, so overused, in today’s corporate society.
The 11 p.m. snowmobile delivery to a private residence on Christmas Eve.
Opening the back shop during off hours so a team of snowmobilers can have access to parts and a workspace to fix a broken-down machine.
Mid-morning coffee breaks that are open to people in the community.
This is the kind of customer service that is always focused on giving more than getting.
And you know what? In the case of Bucky’s, it has reaped rewards a thousand-fold.
People keep coming back to this little store on Lincoln Street in Pinedale, WY, because they know there is always something good in store for them. They know the people there think outside of themselves, think beyond making a buck or two.
They know the people who work at Bucky’s are truly in tune with what a customer needs.
Small business owner (or entrepreneur) or not, your life can be like that. It’s about turning the focus outward, rather than keeping it inward. It’s about putting yourself in other people’s shoes, anticipating their needs, asking (even if not directly), “How can I serve you today?”
If you read the history, Bucky’s: Stories and Recollections from 50 Years in Business, you might get tired of hearing about customer service, the countless ways employees at that shop have stepped up to treat someone like more than just a customer.
But it’s all in there because these are the memories and stories straight from the customers’ own experiences.
Turns out when someone serves you and truly meets your needs, you want to shout it from a mountaintop. Turns out that in this crazed world wrought with a “what’s-in-it-for-me” attitude, there are still people who care about you.
*In what way have you been touched recently by an act of service?