We’re serious when we say that Fixturelite is “Where Success Gets Assembled”. And then there’s the age-old question of what makes one successful? Ask ten different people and get ten different answers. What I’d like to share with you in this article relates to the time I watched Vending, Micro Market, and Office Coffee Service operators reach a little further, and when they did I stopped and said, “Ah, there it is again. I’ve seen that one before”.
I decided to write this because it happened to me again today. What I saw made me stop. It reminded me of the extra steps we took in our vending business before we sold it after nearly ten years to help people like you. (Now is your chance to bail out from this article, because it’s filled with
real life, honesty.) The extra reach I’m talking about is ‘the little things’. Practicing them, that’s what sets you apart. Not doing them could likely also set you apart, but apart in a different way. Apart from those who are crushing it every day in their businesses.
So, my morning was spent watching as a match we made between customer and operator began its journey in the break room, while our fixtures were being delivered. The vendor-customer match before today wasn’t perfect. Hey, it happens. I knew the customer was hoping for a new beginning and a better relationship. They were watchful and curious without being intrusive or overbearing.
What happened wasn’t huge, it wasn’t even noticeable really, but it was important. I noticed it, but more importantly, I observed as the customer noticed it. One of the leaders of a large install team grabbed a towel and some window cleaner and began to wipe down the beam that would rest above the coolers in the fixture surround that we provided. He stepped back and looked to make sure that he hadn’t missed anything and that it looked clean and new. He reminded me of a 16 year old with a new car. The customer watched him and quickly smiled and ever so slightly nodded to herself. As nearly as she quickly looked my way and I smiled back. That was it. It was simple as that. I knew, that she knew, that she was in good hands.
This group of professionals continued to impress me as the morning and their first install and build out of our Micro Market fixtures continued. They were mindful of the process. They wanted to know what made the fixtures tick. They worked as a team, without being prompted to do so, and they asked questions. They asked process and assembly questions to make sure their future installs went right. More importantly, they asked customer centric questions. They took into consideration how the customer would respond to how we designed the space, how we designed the shelving, and where products were grouped and placed. They worked with me every step of the way since the first meeting. They asked for design advice and offered up some of their experiences that had worked well for them in the past. They asked each other, and valued each other’s opinion when they asked “Does the sign look better like this or like this?” among other questions.
From the get-go they weren’t hesitant about investing in the space. They realized the importance of creating culture and the importance of designing for the user experience, likely because they understood that like anything, you get back what you put into a project. They aren’t known for short cuts. They are known for being first class, for being excellent at what they do. It’s clear that their mission is to create customers for life (my words, not theirs, but that’s how I see it).
I left for a bit to multi task and such while they finished up the security system install. When I returned, they were gone. They were efficient. What I found though was consistent with the events that took place earlier that morning. The Micro Market area was spotless. It was neat, and the shelves and equipment were still empty because nothing gets stocked until Monday (It’s Friday)! It was a perfect work in progress. It showed that they respected the customer and their environment.
So, how does your customer see you? Are you reaching that extra inch? Because if you are, going that one extra inch may just make them feel like you are going an extra mile.