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Secrets of Success

Now That’s Customer Service!

When I conduct sales training workshops, I emphasize maintaining a good relationship

and providing great customer service.

Because of that, I am constantly on the lookout for examples of both good and bad customer service.

Last month I experienced great customer service.


The Crime

We have a summer home in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York outside

of Lake Placid in the thriving metropolis of Wilmington, New York, population 1,253.

My wife Nancy and I spend most of the summer in our little slice of heaven.

Joining us this year was our family’s 11- year old Jack Russell/ Beagle mix, Jessie.

Jessie has the energy of a puppy but a rather elderly mind.

She does not do well with prolonged stays in new environment—as we were to soon find out.


Three weeks into a six-week stay Jessie was fine.

Until that night.

We had gone out to get a bite to eat.

Maybe it was the wind.

Or maybe there was thunder.

Or maybe Jessie had just been in this different environment long enough.


Whatever the reason, she had had enough and had decided it was time to leave.

The quickest way out she figured was the front door.

All she had to do was chew through the doorjamb, eat the weather stripping

and scratch her way through a metal door and she would be home free.


The door won.


But not before Jessie left her mark.


The Search

Repairing the door and the doorjamb would take a little time but was certainly doable.

And I would just stop at a hardware store, pick up new weather stripping, replace the

chewed stripping and we would be good to go.

Except no one had seen weather stripping like this.

Not the three hardware stores, one big box store, or two lumber yards.

No one recognized it.

There was one more lumber yard I realized I had not thought

to visit—Haselton Lumber, which ironically was one mile from our house.


Not expecting much I walked in and was immediately met by an older gentleman.

Before I could say a word, he looked at the piece of weather stripping I was holding.

“Shekter expansion,” he said. “You’ll need it for a 36-inch door.”

“Do you have it?” I queried. “Not here but I’ll call my deliveryman,” he responded.

As this was a Tuesday and we still had three weeks left on our stay, I was confident

I would receive the weather stripping before we had to leave.

“They should have it to me by Thursday,” he replied.

“This Thursday?” I asked.

“Yes, by the way, I see where you live. I can drop it off at your house on my way home.”


Then he put his hand out, “I’m Sam Haselton.”

(That’s Sam Haselton ,as in the president of the company, which I discovered when I went to the company web site.)

Thursday came and I had other things on my mind.

At 8 a.m. Friday morning, my phone rang. It was Sam Haselton.

“I’m so sorry. I left last night and forgot to drop off the weather stripping,” he explained.

I assured Mr. Haselton I would be more than happy to travel the mile distance and pick up the weather stripping.


I had just encountered superb customer service.


What Happened

 Mr. Haselton did three things extraordinarily well.

Think about how often you:


Focus on the Customer

As I walked in the door, Sam immediately came over.

When a client or customer calls, do you stop what you’re doing and give them your undivided attention?


Solve the Problem

Mr. Haselton identified my need and set to work getting what I needed as soon as he could.

Do you tell your client what they can have and when they can have it or do you focus on problems

and why you won’t be able to meet their needs in a timely fashion?


Amaze them by Going the Extra Mile

The company president offering to personally deliver my purchase and then calling

and apologizing profusely when he forgot—who does that?!

When was the last time you did something truly memorable and unexpected for your client or customer?


Great customer service is not that hard if you follow the lessons of a little lumber yard in upstate New York.

They’ve been at it for 113 years.




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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488