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When I lived in Phoenix my favorite place to eat was The Blue Fin. A small, downtown building that serves the best teriyaki chicken bowls in the world. The elderly Japanese couple who own the business are amazing. They serve delicious food with a smile and a kind word, thanking you as though you were the only customer they’d had that day.

We all know the great feeling that comes when we’ve been treated well. We’ll go out of our way to patronize businesses that deliver on their promise and make us feel good in the process.

Sadly, we also know the feeling of not being treated well. We know what it feels like for a business to take our patronage for granted. Or worse, act as though they couldn’t care less whether or not we walked through their door.

There is a fact about relationships. When we meet people, we either leave them a little better or a little worse. But we never leave them the same. There’s no such thing as “neutral”.

If, as a business, we did the job just well enough for them not to complain, then we haven’t likely earned a return customer. Think about it. When’s the last time you called a friend and asked, “Can you recommend an adequate plumber?”

No. We ask for and give referrals for businesses and services that are excellent. We don’t want to risk damaging a friendship by recommending anything less. Because it reflects on us. We don’t want to hear a buddy say, “That mechanic you sent me to cost me $300 more than expected and my car still isn’t running right.” We want them to say, “Thanks for pointing me to them. They were on time, fixed it right and answered all my questions.”

That said, here’s some customer service wisdom:

Good customer service and your customers will like you.

Never underestimate the significance of “little extras”. It’s why dentists and pediatricians give stickers and suckers and gift certificates for a free ice cream cone. How many parents of little ones have said, “Johnny, I know you hate getting shots. But you get to go to Baskin-Robbins when it’s over!” Little extras show you care.

Keep in mind the little extras will only be of value if you’re delivering on your promises. Keeping appointments, showing up on time, doing quality work and delivering on your promises.

“Good customer service and your customers will remember you…and refer you.

In the Iowa small town where I went to college, Benny Mulder owned the Phillips 66 gas station. Today it’s still full service. They pump your gas, check your oil and clean your windows every time.

When I was a poor college student, Benny noticed my tires were coming apart. “You can’t drive those. Too dangerous.” I told him I didn’t have any money to replace them. Benny said, “I might have some used tires I can put on there.”

When I came back later that day, Benny had tires on my car. If they were used I couldn’t tell. He charged me $40. For the set. Only ten bucks a tire. They ran perfectly for two more years. That was 30 years ago. I’ve never forgotten it. I told every incoming student I met to take their car to Mulder’s for gas and repairs. 30 years later, I’m still telling that story.

Give a lot extra and your customers will show their loyalty and always remember you fondly.

We at Sinclair strive to always give “a lot extra” in our service to customers. It’s a privilege to help solve your plumbing, heating and air conditioning problems. We do our best because we want you to remember us for all the right reasons.

Call us today at 806-749-COOL (2665). We’ll be happy to serve you!

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