“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
-Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon.com
I’m alive guys, I promise. So if you missed all of the craziness on Facebook I’ll go ahead and put it here: WE GOT THE HOUSE. That’s right, I’m now blogging from my beautiful new 5 bedroom house. I never thought in a million years that I’d be living in a place like this out in Suburbia, but here we are.
The move and the preparation for this house has involved tons and tons of trips to our Home Depot (#3836) since it’s been the closest store to us to get our moving goodies. Off the top of my head:
- Boxes and Packing Tape
- Bleach, bubble wrap and more boxes
- Lawn Mower and Gardening Gloves (I also begged him for a Calla Lily to plant in the flower bed, but didn’t get it because it’s late in the year. Boo!)
- Light bulbs and light switch covers
- New locks for all the doors (Go get these at Home Depot. They will key them all alike for a very tiny fee!)
- Lumber, wood stain, and special leaf-design trim for a secret project that we’re doing tomorrow (tutorial coming soon!)
My point is that I’ve been to Home Depot at least seven times in the last two weeks and I’m going back tonight in order to get extra screws and a new level.
Each trip to our local Home Depot has been pleasant. There’s an older gentleman who was at the self-checkout register and talked with me about the move for a while. He was engaging and kind, and didn’t seem to hate being up there like you would see of cashier’s at some other retailers. The man in the door section who helped get our locks and got someone from hardware to come to US to re-key them all was very attentive. Everyone we’ve worked with there has been really nice.
Blake has made us lifelong customers though.
We drive a Toyota Corolla. It’s not a tiny car, but it’s not exactly my brother-in-law’s pickup. We measured the back with the seat down and it looked like the lumber might just baaaarely fit. I knew my luck though. We were buying plywood and expensive decoratively-tooled trim along with the 2x4s and 2x2s, so I was terrified that Mr. Determined’s calculations would be off and we’d go to shove the trim into the seat and crack it.
I asked the man working in the lumber section what the delivery charges were for it just in case we bought it all and it didn’t fit. $69.00 was the standard price for deliveries, even just for $100.00 worth of wood. Eep! Then he asked where we were taking it since it was just to our home. When I told him (we’re just a few miles north of the store) he said that if we couldn’t fit it, a few of the guys with pickups there might be able to drop it off on their way home since there were some that lived just a few blocks north of me.
The service didn’t stop there though. When we finished grabbing our stain and brushes and went to check out with it all, Blake went with us to the checkout, helped the person there ring and bag it all, then went out to the car with Mr. Determined and made it fit, using twine to close the trunk safely over my materials without chipping a single thing.
Bringing Service Back
This kind of thing is what’s missing from big businesses now. I worked retail for years for a big company and it always seemed that a lot of interactions were cold and sterile. The kind of service we got last night was the kind that you’d only expect from a small town mom-and-pop shop where everyone’s a neighbor and everybody watches out for each other. He didn’t have to check back in with us when we were checking out. He didn’t have to offer to help us get it home after he found out we lived so close. He didn’t have to come help us get the wood into the car. He did though.
A service moment that could have stopped at, “The charge for that kind of delivery is sixty-nine dollars.” turned into a shopping experience that put my anxiety over the project materials at ease. It’s really given me some faith that Home Depot is one of the companies that still cares about each individual customer. Thank you Blake and thank you Home Depot for making my DIY attempt a little bit smoother.