As Customer Service Week comes to a close, leave a comment sharing your story on how you connect with your community, your teams, your business partners, or your vendor partners and win a free ‘Amaze Every Customer Every Time’ book!
On October 4th, Gina Schaefer, Ace Hardware store owner and Ace Center For Excellence keynote speaker celebrated Customer Service week with a talk focused on her connections, breaking down silos, tools she uses to integrate learning into her business and how to go the extra mile.
Connect with your Vendor Partners
We go to work every day thinking about our direct connections, have you ever gone a layer or even two layers deeper? Gina started her talk with Associated-Solutions staff by sharing that although they were connected, she had not known who Associated was prior to today. She went on to say the level of service given Ace warehouses by vendors such as Associated ultimately affects her business and when done well, it’s seamless to her.
Connect with your Business Partners
Are you fully using the resources available to you? What can you do individually or as a business to continuously learn? Gina often shares that her trust in her business partner, Ace Hardware is why she utilizes the services and training offered. At this week’s meeting, she shared her team’s learning from implementing customer counts. These counts highlighted the number of footsteps that weren’t being turned into sales. Her teams can now use this learning to implement changes and successfully grow the business.
Connect with your Team
How do go beyond going to work every day and instead live, demonstrate, grow, or develop your core values with your team daily? Just one example of learning from her team and breaking down silos is Gina Schaefer’s story about bringing together various team members to brainstorm on the core values for her 12-store chain. That meeting led to the nine core values by which all the team’s live by. A few examples of how they interact daily are; be a great neighbor, be helpful, create raving fans, be vibrant & enthusiastic, and always grow and share.
Connect with the Community
Think about how you or your business affects your local community. Is it events? fund-raising, jobs? How do you directly or indirectly give back to your community? As ‘A Few Cool Hardware Stores’ grew, they kept finding ways to differentiate and connect with the local community needs. Gina has tirelessly focused on the “Return to Main Street” movement in her own city of Washington, D.C. to promote Shop Local campaigns and community revitalization in urban areas. This has resulted in partnering with many local entrepreneurs and creating a D.C. based program to sell locally made goods from prime shelf space in her 12 stores.
The overarching message on Wednesday was go the extra mile with everyone you interact with. If you’re willing to, soon silos are breaking down and trust grows. No matter how big or small your role is, find ways to connect with and impact your team, your business partners, your vendor partners, and especially your community because they do all impact each other!