Sunday, March 4, 2018

I'm pumped up!

"I'll wait for you."

Remember these words.

This weekend, we experienced a Nor'easter with high winds, downed trees, and lots and lots of RAIN.

My wife and I were home alone, and yet I heard a "scream" coming from the basement. Turns out it was not a person screaming, but our sump pump blowing a gasket, and hence, giving out a death scream as it kicked the bucket.

And now, our normally dry basement was becoming - less dry. In fact, it was getting very, very wet. The water was rising. Fast. If the water continued to rise at its current rate, our furnace would short out and stop working. The electrical connections to the furnace would be under water.

I Googled the exact make and model of the sump pump, hoping to (by some miracle) find a local store that might have one in stock. If I could find an exact match, I MIGHT be able to "do this myself" and swap out the pump. [ My family will be laughing hysterically when they read this. I'm not very handy. ]

It was around 5:55 pm and I found a hardware store that carries that brand of pump. The Denville, New Jersey True Value Hardware store closes at 6:00 pm. I called and explained my situation.

"I'll wait for you.  Take your time, I'll wait for you."

By some miracle, I was able to bring the broken pump with me to the store. The owner met me at the door. He got a replacement pump off the shelf, and also collected all of the tools and parts that I "might need" to do the job myself. Any tools and any parts that I did not need, I could simply return for a full refund.

I explained that I am not that handy, but if I don't get this pump working tonight, we surely would lose our heat and most likely lose our power tonight.

"Take my cell phone number. I'll walk you through it. If you want, I'll go on video chat with you, and we'll get it done together".

Remember the scene in the movie "Castaway" where Tom Hank's character makes fire? That is how I felt as I got this replacement pump working. I had the right tools. I had the parts. And I had my new best friend at my side on video chat. My friend, the owner of True Value Hardware in Denville, New Jersey.

Also, the price of the pump was "the best price" that I could find on the Internet. Talk about a time where someone could charge more. I would have paid anything, I was in a bind. But not only did I get a great price for the sump pump, I received what might be the best customer service experience of my life.

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. The owner of True Value Hardware in Denville, New Jersey not only saved the day, he threw in a Master Class in how to put the customer first. Small, family owned Hardware Store. Since 1946.

I wonder if my customers and clients talk about me, the way I am talking about the owner of True Value Hardware in Denville, New Jersey. Does anyone blog about "me" or my staff? Time for a little reflection and introspection, me thinks.

In the age of Amazon and eCommerce and business where we never meet our customers face to face, I was reminded what really matters.

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. As business owners, we can't always control the selling price, but we can ALWAYS control the value. We control the ROI that we deliver to our clients and our customers.

I also think it is time to take the "e" out of eCommerce. It's all just "commerce" at this point. Customer Service from people who truly care will never go out of style. In person, or via technology, we control the value that we deliver.

Yeah, I'm pretty pumped about how this all went down.

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