Monday, August 24, 2009

Painting A Good Picture on Customer Service

In these past somewhat turbulent few months, there has been an abundance of negative news bombarding us almost daily. At times we are all guilty of propagating negativity, recanting a bad experience be it a faulty, overly expensive vehicle repair, poor food/service in a restaurant, a defective product or just a level of indifference shown to us by a retail store clerk. We have all been there but at the same time we have all had good experiences as well and these are all too often the ones that are not shared.
This summer I have been catching up on some maintenance at my cottage on Manitoulin Island. Unlike some, I do not view this type of thing as “work.” I enjoy home/cottage maintenance and renovation projects. For one it’s a departure from my normal daily routine as a REALTOR® and secondly, the end results I find rewarding.
Recently I purchased some paint and stain for my cottage garage from Robinsons Paint & Wallpaper on Hurontario Street in Collingwood. Both were Benjamin Moore products, a trusted name in paint for many years. The paint was for my two garage doors and despite prepping the doors and applying two coats, the paint dried with a very irregular finish, a mixture of gloss in some areas and dull in others. Naturally I was a little perplexed both for having spent over $40.00 on the paint not to mention my labour. More importantly I was confused as to why such a high quality paint would yield such poor results.
I took some digital photos of the finished product and went back to Robinsons in search of a reason for my less than satisfactory paint job. Mark Robinson studied my photos and while no definitive cause for the blotchy look to the doors was arrived at, he offered a number of suggestions as to why the paint’s final finish might be so inconsistent. More importantly he offered not only to replace the paint “no-charge” but he also threw in a new brush and some sandpaper. Frankly I was blown away. I had not blamed the paint, nor had Mark pointed a finger at my workmanship, yet here was a person willing to give the customer the benefit of the doubt. Not only did he stand behind his product but he made some helpful suggestions and tossed in some “extras.”
Clearly, here is a local, small business owner that understands the value of investing in his customers and his business. In response to my plight, would the larger chain retailers in the area have done the same? Perhaps, but this example of exemplary customer service is not about big box stores versus the little guy. It’s about providing your customers no matter what business you are in, with a level of service that “exceeds their expectations” and Mark Robinson certainly did that with me.
I am fortunate to have come from a corporate background where our success and growth was always based on providing our value customers with both products and service that exceeded those of our competitors. My real estate partner Doug Brown and I apply the same to our buyer and seller real estate clients. It’s always very rewarding when a client expresses their gratitude for the service we provide and further refers our names to their friends and or family. Recanting my “positive” experience with Mark Robinson to others is both a pleasure and a well deserved accolade for him and his business. I hope the experience I have shared herein rewards him with some additional business in the future. He will certainly get it from me.

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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


My Profile

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.