Best business practices

Loyal customers buy things all the time, but sometimes the best way to create loyal customers is not to sell them anything at all.

No direct woodworking again this time, but something I think is important to all businesses, including woodshops like yours.

I talked last summer about a new oil-change place near me that bent over backward to serve my needs, including catering to my individual quirks (namely, not changing my car seat). At the time, the manager of the oil place noticed an issue with my brakes and recommended a repair place I’d never been to before. I’ve since become a regular customer of that repair shop – actually, a tire store that does a full range of repairs.

After damaging a front tire on my car earlier this year I replaced both front tires at a tire store I’d used a few times over the years. At the time they said my back tires were worn and recommended replacing them, too. Money was tight at the time, and while replacing the front ones was mandatory I decided to wait a bit on the back ones. Long story short, with winter now here I went to that new tire store the oil guy recommended for a new set of back tires.

Even though several months had passed since the old tire store had recommended they be replaced, the new tire store inspected and measured the tread, concluding they were good for another six months. The difference was clear: The old tire store simply wanted to make that sale, whether I really needed the tires or not. The new store honestly told me I was fine for a while longer, and there was no need spending the money over the holidays.

So, when I need those tires – and when my wife eventually needs tires – which of those two businesses do you think will get my money?



  • Monte Glover says:

    I use a locally run tire store because of their honesty even though on occasion their cost is a few dollars higher.
    Even in this world of “price is king,” service and honesty often wins.

  • Mike C. Smith says:

    Kudos to that tire store and their honest attitude to their work. Too bad there aren’t more stores like that. Gratefully I have a mechanic like that and I know of a couple of sales people who are like that. They always get my business. No matter whether or not it’s a few dollars more for their product.

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