Creating loyal customers calls for impeccable support, outstanding products, and excellent marketing tactics. But if you want to bring your connection to another level, sending automated WOW packages is key. Tersh Blissett talks with Derek LoVerde to discover how they provide such tokens in To Your Success. He explains how you can go beyond customer satisfaction and establish deeper client relationships by giving more attention to low-cost yet memorable gifts. Derek underlines why entrepreneurs should take a holistic approach in their businesses, appealing to everyone’s emotions rather than treating them as mere target audiences.
Listen to the podcast here:
Going Beyond Customer Satisfaction With WOW Packages
With Derek LoVerde Of To Your Success
I have an exciting person on our show. We have Derek LoVerde, and he is with, To Your Success. It’s a company. A lot of people will ask how we do Wow packages. That’s what we call it. As soon as somebody purchases an HVAC system, we will give them a massage, a mobile masseuse, a carwash, or perfectly baked chocolate chip cookies. On this show, we have Derek come on and share a little bit about his company, what they do and how they can help make a lasting impression in your client’s life by thinking about them above and beyond after the sale, before the sale or randomly and periodically, throughout the year or whatever the case may be. Welcome to the show, Derek.
Thank you, Tersh. It’s great to be here. Thank you to all the readers as well. It’s our privilege to be here.
Tell us what your business is and what exactly you do.
I’m going to back up a little bit and tell you that my father was an HVAC commercial installer. That’s what he did his whole career. He was a journeyman. He worked hard. I grew up in New York. He commuted every day of his life from Long Island to Manhattan, took the train, grabbed subways, got as close as he could to the job site, and walked the rest of the way. They would install these capacity-wise 20-ton systems.
He worked at all the iconic buildings like Empire State Building, World Trade Center, Chrysler Building, and Ellis Island. Contracting is a little bit in my blood from that standpoint. To keep the family connection going, the company I work for, To Your Success, which works with contractors, is owned by my father-in-law. It’s very much a family connection. I have heard before from you about your Wow package ideas, and I think those are great.
A lot of contractors get so focused on the technical, business, and metrics side of things, which are important but a contracting business is a holistic business. Sometimes they forget about the relationship side of things. People do business with people. They don’t do business with capacitors or robots that know exactly about how a system works. They want to do business with somebody who is personal and connecting with them.
We have seen a lot of success for our contractors when they zero in more on, “The cornerstone of a contracting business is customers.” That’s the bottom line. You have your business as well, and you know as well as anybody that you will not make it in the contracting business if you don’t have a high EQ, which is your Emotional Quotient. You can be smart and good with numbers and that’s great. They are all important but you have to have a holistic approach when it comes to taking care of customers and keeping your contracts and business going.Many contractors focus so much on the technicalities and metrics of a business. Because of this, they tend to forget to take care of their relationship with people. Click To Tweet
I met a contractor from Tennessee. His name is BWY. We were at an HVAC conference together. I was telling him about what we do at To Your Success. Let me explain. To Your Success is all about the wow factor. It’s a wow factor package that we send out for a high-dollar service call or an installation, for example. We are hand baking these freshly baked cookies. They are good. For any of the readers that would love to contact me and say, “Can you send me a sample?” I will do that.
They are delicious. We had some at Mingledorff’s event.
It’s a great place to work, I will have to admit. I have been there for years and people say, “Do you ever get tired of the cookies?” I’m like, “No. Who doesn’t love freshly baked chocolate chip cookies?” That’s what we do. After a job is done, the contractor will send us the customer’s name and address or we have integrations with software as well. It can come automatically through a dispatch software integration.
We get the customer’s name and address and bake a freshly baked batch of cookies. It’s made to order. We are going to bake it, hand pack it, vacuum seal it, and drop-ship it in the mail to your customer’s home. It can have your logo on it as well as a contractor. Seventy percent of our contractor clients want us to put their logo on the package. That’s what To Your Success does. It’s a $30 to $35 wow factor thing out the door.
That is dirt cheap for the wow that they get when they open a package up.
It’s important to have lots of ideas at your disposal, whether it’s the cookies or the mobile massage, which is a fantastic idea. My wife would personally love something like that. With four kids, she gets very stressed out. Back to my story with BWY, I was telling BW what we do. He said, “It’s funny you talk about the wow factor. Years ago, I’ve got a call from, we will call her Mrs. Jones, late in the day.” She’s a first-time customer. It’s her first time calling him up. She says, “My system is down. Can you come over and take a look at it?”
He says, “I will be there first thing in the morning.” She says, “First thing in the morning?” He’s like, “Is that okay?” She hesitated a little bit and was like, “I have this morning routine. I always go out to Starbucks first thing in the morning and get this custom drink.” It’s something like a Venti, skimmed, dark roast, three shots or whatever. She’s like, “I always get this special drink. It helps me start my day but yes, come out first thing in the morning.” The next morning, Mrs. Jones gets a knock on her door. She opens the door, and there’s BWY with a smile on his face and that custom cup of coffee in his hand.
I will bet she’s a customer for life.
You knew the end of the story right there because you have done this thing before and understand. It costs him ten minutes and $5.
That’s one of our questions when somebody calls in, “What’s something that’s $20 that you can’t live without?” That’s one of the onboarding questions. They will say something always random. Let’s not use that time on that call always. Every now and then, if we have a repeat trip out there or something random, people will say a Snickers bar, a Hershey’s bar or a taco, and they specify a certain taco.
For one of our service experts, it’s listed right there. If it’s less than $20, the service expert can stop by a gas station, pick it up and then hand it to them. They are like, “You remembered that this was my favorite thing.” What did it cost? It costs the gas stopping there for a few minutes. He’s going to stop at a gas station anyway, so he picks it up. It’s huge just paying attention and having that customer or client interaction.
I love that you are empowering your team to make a customer-focused decision on the fly. They know that I am authorized to spend $5 to do something to go over the top. It’s so important to let your team know that, “This is what we are about. It’s not just solving the HVAC, plumbing or electrical problem. Do that but in addition to that, can you wow the customer at the same time?” Sometimes it doesn’t take much. It’s a few minutes and a few bucks.
It’s the same thing with BWY. When he wowed this lady, her first impression ever of him and his company was that they are a contractor who cares. He was listening. If she knew he listened about her custom drink and got it right, isn’t he going to listen to her when she tells him what her problem is in her home and when she talks about finances and what they can afford? She has the confidence to know that, “This is a caring individual. He’s not here to upsell me stuff that I don’t need. I have the confidence that I’m going to have a strong relationship with this guy.”
One thing I want your readers to grasp is this belief that customers want a strong relationship with a contractor. Every interaction is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship. Fast forward, you predicted the end of the story, which is years later, Mrs. Jones is still a customer. She has had multiple systems replaced, and services are done. She’s a maintenance agreement customer and has referred tons of business to BWY.
That impact is crazy. You set that bar also, so you can’t skip it later. You need to stay up there. We all have off days. My team went into somebody’s house and had this sports fan. That’s who their fan is. It’s internally in our notes. We, all the time, are going to charity events and charity auctions like the Georgia K9 Foundation. They will have a charity auction constantly where stuff gets donated to them, and it could be random stuff.
We had this one person that was a huge Adrian Peterson fan. We’ve got this book that was autographed by Adrian Peterson. It was his college book and all this other stuff. It was a book that he wrote or something. Nobody else had bid on it. It was $30 and I was like, “I was going to give him $30 anyway.” We’ve got this Adrian Peterson book, and immediately, we were like, “Which one of our clients likes Adrian Peterson? Gather your lists.” We found somebody. He is getting sent an Adrian Peterson book.
They are like, “You sent me an Adrian Peterson book.” There was an autographed book and all this other stuff. He had written all kinds of stuff in the book. It was cool because it’s second nature with the whole team. It’s like, “We are going to do this. Even if it’s not something that we want, we are going to donate to this foundation. Let’s make it a gift card to send to one of our clients.” You get known for that stuff, too, when you build that into your everyday routine.
The word that we use a lot is to inspire. When a contractor acts that way, they are inspiring loyalty. Inspired loyalty is so much deeper, wider, and contagious than any other kind of loyalty. When you try to demand loyalty from people, it’s not contagious or true to the core. You can manipulate consumer behavior through coupons and whatnot.When employees start to think of new ideas, it shows how engaged they are with your business. The opposite is certain if they are always longing for improvement. Click To Tweet
It’s not wrong to do coupons but if you can drive consumer behavior with a coupon, “$5 off here. Buy-one-get-one-free here,” are they truly loyal at the core? Not necessarily but when you make an emotional connection with the customer, that’s when they are tied into you. A lot of contracting businesses are run by men. We tend to be more technical.
We were like, “The job is finished. We are done.”
We zero in on fixing the problem, so we tend to overlook the fact that a lot of great leaders have a high EQ, which is the Emotional Quotient. It’s not just about knowledge and the ability to process information. When I say EQ, it means to effectively manage your emotions, the emotions of your team, and the customers. That leader is going to have a lot happier employees, too. If you have high EQ and get that mindset toward customers, you are going to also be doing those wow factor things for employees. Do you ever do anything for your employees like that?
All the time. It’s random things. In anniversaries, we will send flowers to the spouses of our employees and gift cards. If they say they like a band, we will surprise them with tickets to a concert for that band. We try to stay on top of them as much if not more than our clients.
It’s easy to forget that employees are our internal customers as an organization. It goes the same way with inspiring loyalty in your employees toward you. It’s the same methodology. It’s caring, listening, doting on them, going above and beyond, and getting them that custom drink they love from Starbucks. The same principles apply toward employees as toward customers.
When you start inspiring other people, what happens is at the end of the day, that contractor, owner or manager sits back, smiles on the inside and says, “I’m feeling inspired, too.” It’s a cycle of inspiration. You inspire others. It always comes back to you when you are inspired to see your team doing so great and having fun at what you do.
They come up with ideas. They are like, “Let’s do this and that. This would be a great idea.” I have had it both ways. I have had teams that didn’t want to put an input on anything. When you look back and you are like, “What have I done for them? I’m asking them to do all this stuff and come up with these ideas. I haven’t done anything to reciprocate that relationship.”
I love what you said because when your employees start to think of new ideas for your company, it means that they are engaged. A disengaged employee is not thinking about, “How can we improve? What can we do to wow our customers?” Also, you can get your customers to do the same thing. They start being imaginative. Your employees get imaginative about your customers. Your customers can start being imaginative about your company as a contractor, “What could this relationship be like?”
As an example, one of our clients up in Pennsylvania in the Philly area has been around since 1970. It’s a long time. They have this customer-centric mindset and have been using us for years to do the cookie gifts wow factor after an install. Even before us, they already had that mindset. We were another way for them to easily express what they already felt. They focused on strong relationships. One morning, one of the technicians shows up for the first appointment of the day. The homeowner is not ready for them to get started on the job but they have a table set with eggs and bacon for the technician.
They knew the technician already. They knew who was coming. The customer had a strong relationship, so they wanted to dote on the employee. What happens is you wow customers. I keep talking about the cycle of inspiration where if you wow the customer, the customer starts to wow your employees. That’s what I mean about being imaginative, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had eggs and bacon?” That’s the opposite of apathetic and disengaged. They are engaging with you and your company.
That is the ultimate show of trusting you as an employee. They trust that you are going to come into their home and do the right thing. Whereas with someone who is the opposite, they are like, “These people are coming here to rip me off. I’ve got to watch everything they are doing. They are going to steal my stuff while I’m there.” It’s the exact opposite whenever they have that relationship.
I love the word trust because when there’s trust, people are relaxed and more open to your suggestions. If they trust the technician, I guarantee that technician is going to have better numbers than when they are skeptical of a technician.
As long as the technician or the service expert is trustworthy, they are going to say something and take it for gold. They say, “If you said that’s the problem, that’s the problem. Let’s get it fixed.” There’s no hard sell involved whenever you already have that relationship.
Another thought to kick around with you would be that sometimes the phrase customer satisfaction can be the wrong goal. What I mean by that is sometimes people say, “The highest and the best thing we can have as a company is customer satisfaction.” What we say here is, “That’s not the ultimate goal.” The feeling of satisfy should be the floor, not the ceiling. Sometimes what I have seen is they say, “We want that customer to be calm and cool when we leave.” We say, “When that job is over, shouldn’t they be ecstatic about your company?”
We talk a lot about this delicate balance that your customer is in. If you provide a standard HVAC plumbing or electrical experience, you come and fix the problem. They are neutral more to where if a little thing goes wrong, their feelings go like this, and they are telling their friends about it and post something negative online. It’s the same opportunity or something small to push them over the edge. You want the equilibrium to go this way to where they are energized about you, not apathetic.
My wife says this a lot, and it’s so true. A lot of people will say their motto is the golden rule of, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” She says, “Throw that rule out the window and live by the platinum rule, which is, do unto others as they would want to have done to themselves.” Go above and beyond their expectations versus the bare minimum.
I have four kids, and they are all young. It’s crazy but fun at the same time. You understand. You are in the trenches, too. If I fast forward twenty years, I don’t want my kids thinking, “I had a satisfactory childhood.” Who wants that? I want them to be like, “I loved my family growing up. I loved my dad and mom. We had great times. I have so many great memories.” It takes work and being proactive. We plan to camp out. It’s a little harder to wow with sheltering in place.When trust is present, people are relaxed and more open to suggestions. Click To Tweet
You have to get more creative, even with my kids delivering the wow factor. What I mean is I go back to, “Do I want people to be satisfied?” These are some synonyms for the word satisfied. This will help our readers understand that satisfaction is not the best goal. Other words for satisfied when it comes to customers would be apathetic, at-risk, disengaged, indifferent, uninspired, uncommitted and equilibrium. You think about that like, “Maybe I don’t want to just satisfy customers.” When you go out to eat at a restaurant with your wife and somebody says, “How was that new restaurant?”
You are like, “The food was risky.” If your experience is like, “It was okay. I was hungry, and it met the need for food.” It’s not what people are going for. You are going for, “The food is amazing. I love the staff and the atmosphere. It is a great place to connect with my wife out on a date.” That’s what gets you talking to other people about it. You are going to be silent about it if it was neutral. If it was bad, “Do not go there. The presentation was bad. My fish was overcooked.” My point is that as a contractor, look for wow actor opportunities. Tersh has the cookies.
I love the cookies. You don’t do donuts, do you?
We focus on the cookies.
Make sure nobody has nut allergies. That’s the only thing. Whenever you start sending out packages, and they have a peanut allergy or something like that, you have to worry about that.
Thankfully, people do read ingredient labels. One of my kids has food allergies, and we are always looking and seeing what’s in there. You should be okay, hopefully. The reason we do the food aspect of it is several things. First of all, when you think about genuine human connection, it always involves food. If we are building a relationship, food is involved. We celebrate life milestones with food, whether it’s a job achievement, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries or weddings. You name it. Food is always a component of human relationships. First of all, send food for that reason. It’s the way that we connect with people. Plus, food is multisensory.
When you think about a customer touchpoint, not only does food feels more personal than a direct mail automated postcard. It’s not wrong but we need to have more to it than that. Food feels personal and relational but it’s also multisensory. You are engaging 4 of the 5 senses when somebody gets food. I can smell, taste, see and touch it. The only thing I can’t do is hear it unless you chew loudly. There’s no other customer touchpoint that can engage that many senses. The more senses you engage, the more neuropathways are building, and the more memorable you are becoming.
They are looking at your logo like, “This is so good.”
You are associating a pleasant experience with that brand. Speaking of neuropathways, there’s a little brainy side of things. Positive surprises activate the brain’s pleasure center and reward system. That’s a fancy way of saying they get a little shot of dopamine. It makes your customer feel good. It is associating those feelings with your company. There are so many reasons why food is what we advocate but it’s very personal.
Do you find that a period is better than another period of sending out the cookies?
We advocate as quickly after the job as possible.
What I was thinking was the job went successfully and you were like, “They are happy. Nothing got screwed up. They weren’t dissatisfied.” You waited even two weeks and they are like, “The AC is working good.” They are not thinking about it anymore. All of a sudden, a package pops up and it’s like, “I’m happy.” You are topping on again. Is that good or should it be the same week, and then get the package?
Both can certainly work. We always say try to close the loop on that job with a gift at the end while you are still so top of mind. The gift comes in and brings it all together. Either way would work because if the system is great, then it’s a surprise in the mail and another positive touchpoint. Either way, you are not going to go wrong. You are going to make a happy customer.
Have you read the book Giftology?
No, but it sounds cool.
You should read it. It’s a cool book. There are a lot of people but he’s the one that started this trend. That is giving gifts that don’t have your logo on them. He’s like, “Don’t give somebody an iPad with your logo and scrap on the back of it. Instead, find something in their home that would be a benefit to them or get their company logo and inscribe their logo on the back of the iPad.” iPads are a massive expense but instead of sending out your marketing piece, you send out stuff for them. I’m not saying that you could find something for every single client and put it on the cookies. What’s your thought on sending something with our logo on it versus sending something with your logo on it?
We advocate sending the contractor’s logo on it. It’s not that it’s wrong to not do that. Our perspective would be it’s a reminder that you want an ongoing relationship with them. An example would be we have a six-pack soft-side cooler that we put the cookies down inside it. You have seen that before. Every time they open that cooler, we want it to be a reminder that the contractor cares. I wouldn’t necessarily discourage people from having their logo on the item. Sometimes you get a letter from somebody that is meaningful to you. You might put it up somewhere, and you always want to look at it and see.
I have gotten letters from my dad in the mail. There are certain things that he may have said in that letter and I’m like, “This is a keeper.” It’s a reminder that somebody cares. I don’t think it seems too commercial if that’s what some people are wondering. Also, with the cookies, it’s personal and relational. If it was just a promotional piece without the food, the food is what feels the most personal. That’s why we say, “Why don’t we combine the two and write something memorable with something personal and relational like the cookies are?” It’s an easy way to execute because, as we know, where most contractors fail is in the execution.
I completely forgot that you automate with CRMs. That’s a game-changer. It’s one less thing you have to think about.
We are trying to add more software all the time as far as who we integrate with because that way, you set up a rule and say, “I want anybody who spends $1,000 and more to get a batch of cookies.” They set it and forget it. I want to finish the thought about the satisfy being the floor, not the ceiling. I gave you the synonyms for satisfy, which were not appealing.Customer satisfaction is never the final goal. It should only be the floor of your goals, not the ceiling. Click To Tweet
I want to get a few more ideas about how to wow. With a wowed customer, this is what happens. Instead of being apathetic, they are energized. When I say at risk, I mean at risk of being taken away by a competitor. Instead of being at risk, they are loyal. They are going to dig deep roots like Mrs. Jones from BWY. All it took was that drink, and for years, she’s still a customer.
Instead of being disengaged, they are attentive. Meaning that they are going to be paying attention to your marketing emails, mailers that come, and special offers. Instead of being indifferent, they are partial to you. They care. Instead of being uninspired, they are imaginative about your brand. Instead of being uncommitted, you are galvanizing your customers. Instead of being at equilibrium, they are brand advocates.
When you think about it, “That’s who I want as a customer.” The wow factor is what makes all the difference in the world, from a generic experience from a contractor to something that goes over the top. Like your ideas before, there are Snickers bars. Look past the whole COVID-19 thing. There’s more freedom to do stuff after that. Think about a toy bag for the kids. My kids love the dollar store. They think it’s the best thing in the world. I’m like, “The best-kept secret is the dollar store for parents.” You go in, spend $100, and you get a hundred toys. That’s a lot of kids. Each technician has a wow back.
It’s little toys for the kids and little biscuits for the dog. Everybody talks about fully stocked trucks. That’s a selling point. Fully stock your trucks with equipment but with relationship-building tools, too. That takes execution and planning ahead. For the owners, sit down with your middle managers because with anything that you think of and conceive as an owner, to get it executed at the team level, you’ve got to have middle management buy-in and support.
As the owner, you establish attitude and culture and get your managers onboard. Develop a new language when you talk about customer-centricity, wow factor, and wow packages. You start talking about strong customer relationships and going the extra mile. Start embedding these concepts in your management team. They help you sell it to your team. We have seen our clients do this. One of the things we have is customer satisfaction software where they can look at each technician, even for each day, and at their customer satisfaction rating.
You can look at it by week, month or quarter. They use the report at the end of a month or a quarter to look back and say, “Anybody who has had more than a 98% customer satisfaction rating gets a spiff.” You are reinforcing the behavior you want to see more of, which is delighting customers. You tie in rewards to your team. The tendency is to tie your awards to higher tickets. It’s not wrong but it’s incomplete. Tie in spiffs and rewards to your team based on the wow factor. Have you seen that? Do you have examples? Have you seen other people do that yourself?
As far as the spiffs go, we can track them within our CRM. We do contests. In 2021, we did a TV giveaway. It was whoever had the most five-star reviews that had their name mentioned in it. That’s what it was. There were a lot of them that were getting five-star reviews but it wasn’t mentioning the service experts’ names. That was the stipulation we put on it. They had deliberately asked, “Make sure you put my name in it.” It was cool to see that. Our numbers spiked for that month. It was crazy. I’m like, “Why aren’t you all doing this every month?”
Getting the team to buy in is mission-critical for anything you want to implement but also when it comes to the customer experience. You need to make customer experience training a part of your curriculum for your team if you are a contractor. It needs to be an intentional and strategic part of your training process. Going back to what I said about the technician that had eggs and bacon on his first call, what you are going to find is you are developing a much more fun culture as a company. It’s coming back to the technician.
I’m saying that because you might say, “This is a lot of work to do this whole wow factor thing or I don’t know if we can handle this.” If you want higher employee retention, then you have probably seen that at your shop. It’s these things. Would you rather be a technician that’s being hounded and driven about, “Get that ticket out” When somebody is saying, “Go out and inspire your customers.” That feels so much different. I feel liberated if somebody says that to me. It’s like, “Take amazing care of our customers with a few boundaries.”
You’ve got to have something there but your team is going to be happier and look forward to those calls every day because they know their customer and have a relationship with the customer. They are going to look forward to visiting a little bit with the customer. That doesn’t necessarily come on the 1st or 2nd visit. It comes over time. Trust and the comfort level are built. Over time, you start asking, “How are the kids doing? How’s your mom? She’s elderly. She was ill.” It’s making that personal relation and a genuine human connection with the homeowner.
My wife used to do the dispatching. Since then, we have hired a dispatcher. When she was dispatching, I have seen it a lot more. Make sure you give them a wow service. We’ve both got to play with our wow service. That conversation happened on every dispatch. You brought it back to light like, “I need to listen to see if that is still the case. I don’t hear it next door anymore. I need to be conscious that it’s still happening, and it should be happening.”
The wow factor moves equilibrium to the way you want it to go. The customer becomes emotionally bonded with your contracting business, which is an amazing concept. When they are bonded, here are some characteristics of a bonded customer. There’s lower price sensitivity and higher overall tolerance. That would be even if you make a mistake, they have a higher threshold. They are competitor-proof. They are your most reliable source. You might say, “For what?”
It’s for everything. It’s for repeat business, more business, referrals, spectacular online reviews, employees, and responding to your specials. They have higher lifetime value like Mrs. Jones. They are the ones that generate leads and referrals. When you think about, “I want an emotionally bonded customer.” It takes some thought, strategy, buy-in from your team and execution. $100 at a dollar store gets you a hundred toys. The mobile massage is a great idea. The $30 cookie gift that’s freshly baked and shipped directly to their home. These are no-brainer things.
We are paying $225 for the mobile masseuse to come out to their house. You wouldn’t want to do that on a service call that was only $150. For a replacement, you could do that all day long. It’s the same with the cookies. The cookies are a no-brainer. It’s $35. We will wrap it up now.No other customer touchpoint can engage almost all senses other than food. The more senses you engage, the more memorable you become. Click To Tweet
I reached out to one of our clients and said, “I’m doing a little talk. Do you have a story from one of your customers or interaction with a customer where you went over the top?” I thought this one was so cool. “One cool story we had was a watchdog alert. We have sensors made by Emerson that we install on people’s HVAC units to tell us when things are starting to break. Usually, we have a couple of days’ heads up. Sometimes, it’s a couple of minutes. One Friday evening around 4:45, getting into the weekend, we’ve got an alert at an elderly lady’s house that her furnace wasn’t working. The temperature was in the 20s degrees.” This is up in Pennsylvania.
“It would be a pretty big deal if she were to go the evening without heat. I called and told her that her heat wasn’t working.” He says, “It comes off funny when I tell people that because they haven’t noticed anything yet. This time was no different. I had to do some convincing.” She said she had to go to bingo, a card club or something like that. It started at 7:00 but if we could be there and be done before she had to leave at 6:45 PM, we could come. She wasn’t believing the severity of the situation. We were there at 5:20 PM. She called at 4:45. They are out there at 5:20. That’s 35 minutes later.
They found the pressure switch had clogged and shut the system down. We fixed this, went over everything else, and even ordered the part so that we could not have this happen again. We were out of her house by the time she needed to leave. She got to bingo on time. The funny part was that in the time between when I called and when we’ve got there, her house had dropped 4 degrees. When the tech showed up, she was starting to believe. That was the time where we had everything go right for us to be impressive but there’s a lot of work behind the scenes that goes into setting up the chance to do that.
There’s someone in the office around 5:00 on a Friday. I checked that his job is to be in the office so that when we get alerts, he knows what to do about them quickly. There’s someone to go to the house and most importantly, the tech on the front lines to get there and help the lady out. The bottom line is we try hard to be impressive. It doesn’t always happen but the effort is there. We try to take note of things like birthdays, anniversaries or random things like that when people are scheduling, so we can bring them flowers, send them To Your Success cookies or whatever the case may be. He ends like this, which is great, “It’s fun to be unusual.”
It’s standing out and doing things differently. I truly believe that it’s a huge game-changer. There’s my buddy, Jesse Cole. Have you ever heard of the Savannah Bananas?
No. Everything you asked me about, I don’t know. I’m sorry. I’m not very cultured.
The Savannah Bananas have only been around for a few years now. His whole thing is that he wears a yellow tuxedo every day of the week. That’s what he wears. He’s standing out and doing things differently. He wrote a book about doing business differently. The Grayson Stadium was built in the ‘20s and had Minor League teams play there. Mickey Mantle has played there and Roosevelt. JFK gave speeches there. It’s crazy, all the stuff that’s going on here.
The last Minor League team couldn’t make it happen. They couldn’t get 400 people to show up for a baseball game. For the past three seasons, they have sold out 4,000 seats every season, and there’s a waiting list. It’s because he does business completely differently. They told him that the stadium was junk and they needed to get a new stadium. Savannah was like, “We are not buying or building a new stadium.” They left and went to a different place. Jesse and his team came in and turned things completely around by doing things differently and showing appreciation. I thought that was cool.
That’s a great story. One of the main jobs of a leader is to inspire others. That’s what that guy did that you told a story about. If you own a shop, your main job is to inspire your team and customers. That inspiration will eventually come back to you.
Derek, thank you so much. There’s much gold here.
This was a lot of fun.
I appreciate it. How do people reach out to you to get more information?
ToYourSuccess.com is our website. If you jump on there, you can look at the gift packages we have. Most of our gifts are out the door shipping and everything, even with your name on it and a batch of freshly baked cookies. $30 to $35 would be an average price because we service clients all across the country. Even with shipping and everything, that’s a pretty average price.
I would love to have a conversation with your readers. My offer stands. If somebody says, “I would love to try a batch,” it’s on the house. Mention this show when you reach out to us and say, “I read the show. I would like to try some cookies.” I can jump on the phone. I would love to hear about your needs with customer relationships and help you out.
Thank you, Derek, for coming to the show.
Thank you, Tersh.
For anybody reading this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to either one of us. We love this Wow package and everything that has to do with it. If you would like to talk to somebody that loves it, you can talk to my wife. She’s even more wowed about the Wow packages and everything. With that being said, thank you again for reading the show focused on service business owners, managers, and technicians who are considering becoming business owners themselves. Until we talk again, have a wonderful day.
- Savannah Bananas
- Book – Find Your Yellow Tux: How to Be Successful by Standing Out
- Georgia K9 Foundation
About Derek LoVerde
Experienced, relationship-driven business leader, who values collaboration, win/win solutions, and customer-centric approaches. Trusted adviser and influencer who builds trust, loves to inspire and coach, and values strong relationships with clients and fellow team members.
Core values: respect and value others, do all things with excellence, operate with utmost integrity, honor the Lord Jesus Christ.