Monday, December 21, 2015

How To Win Fans & Succeed

  Being in the real estate profession is not an easy gig but in today's competitive world, nothing is. No matter what your vocation or line of business is, you no doubt have lot's of competition vying for the same customers as you.  Acquiring and retaining customers is not easy, so why do so many businesses put so little emphasis into providing good,customer service ? Throughout my varied career, I have always tried to be the best I can be and most of my employers have operated with the same philosophy and it has served me well.

  Meeting your customer's expectations is no longer good enough, you must exceed them.  In business, word-of-mouth can be your best ally or your worst enemy and this has never more important as it is today. In the non-digital era of days gone by, a customer's experience, good or bad was shared with family and or friends at the dinner table, the office water cooler or a cocktail party.  Today, that same experience good or bad is shared online and within minutes the whole world knows.  Residing in a small town, business can be even more difficult trying to capture customers, the level of business and revenue you need to be profitable.

  Living in a small town I have always tried to patronize the local merchants. This past week I visited a local retailer, a small specialty shop where I was looking to purchase a replacement part for a home appliance. The part is nothing special, it comes in a variety of sizes/styles and is sold in many stores around Collingwood.  Nonetheless, I chose to go to the speciality store thinking that they probably had the best inventory for what I needed. As it turned out, I was dead wrong.

  First, they did not have the specific part in question I required.  I asked if they could order it for me and they said yes but they they would need the model number of my appliance which is understandable although I had the old part with me which contained a part number.  Home I went to get the model number.  I then called the store not once but three times over the next half hour and every call went into voicemail which I thought odd for a retail store.  I returned to the store with the model number written on the back of my business card and asked them to order two of the parts for me so I would have a spare.

  Within 10 to 15 minutes I had a call from the store advising me that they couldn't get the part I needed claiming that the appliance manufacturer did not sell that piece alone and that you had to buy a whole assembly.  Bull---t! In less than 10 minutes I found the part I needed online and ordered two.

  The store in question resides in Collingwood's Downtown Business Improvement Association (BIA).  Every year, the BIA spends thousands of dollars trying to attract customers to Collingwood's downtown core.  Ironically, for the sake of a $5.00 part, one of their members has alienated me to the point that I will never again darken their door.  I guess for a $5.00 part I am not worth much effort but the store in question sells products worth hundreds of dollars and someday I will need one.  When leaving the store on my second visit I helped an elderly couple with the door and they mumbled something about having to come three times from Wasaga Beach to get their issue looked after.  Obviously I was not alone in having some difficulty with this particular merchant.

  My personal belief is that you invest today for business tomorrow.  Facebook is not the only entity that needs "fans," we all do and that takes some effort.  Clearly not everyone or every business subscribes to this theory and they will ultimately be the victim by their own hand.

 Happy Holidays to one and all and Best Wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2016.

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Contact Me

Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.