Monday, May 30, 2005

Customer Care Pays Dividends

For more than three decades, Bill Bell enjoyed a highly successful career as an advertising salesman and executive. His superb communication skills explain why he reached the pinnacle of his profession. When Bill read my blog "A Jewel of a Jewelry Store," he sent me this response, titled "Customer Care Pays Dividends." Thanks to Bill for permission to include another clear illustration of why taking care of your customers is one of the most productive investments you will make.

Bill Bell wrote:

In the early 60s I went to an Atlanta photography store to buy a good camera that would provide dependable service for the indefinite future. The fellow who waited on me presented a camera that would meet that need, a well known and highly respected brand. I bought it then and there, and was impressed with his thorough and patient instruction in how to use the new equipment. I asked his name, which was Bill Wallis, gave him mine, and said I’d be back when I needed attachments of any consequence.

A year or so later I did go back to Bill for a close-up attachment of a certain type that I thought would be needed for my new interest in wild flower photography. He said that what I named would certainly do the job, but was quite expensive and would not perform any better for my purpose than a device of another type and much less costly. I followed his recommendation, which proved to be eminently successful, and thanked him for saving me several hundred dollars.

This second demonstration of "customer care" resulted in my buying virtually 100% of my photographic supplies and equipment from Bill Wallis for the next twenty years or so until he moved to Florida, bought a thirty foot sailboat and retired. During the years of our association he and his wife had opened their own store, and I had become a semi-professional photographer. Bill’s philosophy of business returned significant dividends for his company not only from me, but surely from hundreds of others who must have likewise appreciated his "customer care" attitude that remained unchanged throughout his career.

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