The Extra Yard

Posted on 21 Nov 2018

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In my previous life as a small business owner, this was always the time of year when I was heads down looking to crank out sales. Having a multiple store chain and selling straight retail, the holidays was where I made my mark. At the time, I didn't realize that the entire year leading up to the holiday season we were unconsciously making sure that we went the extra yard for our customers. This is always the correct approach when supplying and supporting a large customer base.

Having stores in the New York Tri-State area, I can recall a funny story (believe me, it didn't seem that way at the time) that speak volumes to my approach to serving customers. We had sold a middle-aged woman a high end treadmill, and soon after she went on an extend vacation. When she returned home, she went to use her new treadmill and it didn't work. She lived about 50 miles from our nearest location, so we did our best to troubleshoot over the phone. As you can imagine this didn't work, so we got our service team in the van and boogied out to her home. Guess what; she never plugged the machine back in after she left for vacation. A story like this sounds trivial, but this hyper-focused service approach came back to us tenfold. The amount referrals and references we received from our customers proves that doing the right thing matters. I always felt it was right to do a one hour in home training session for anyone buying a high end exercise machine. We never charged for this because we felt if the customer did not use the machine, they would not see the results they wanted and they would never pass information about our business on to their friends.

I've been far removed from my original business for years now, but reflecting during this time of the year leads me to believe more than ever Data Age’s method of servicing this industry is the only approach. With my background in football and strength training, I was no stranger to going the extra yard. Going the extra yard for your customers has and will always be the right thing to do. Having a solid foundation and core values are great, but believing in them and executing them are what makes the difference. A smile and "How can I help you?" goes a long way, but backing it with unparalleled service makes it a brand, and that is the gift that keeps on giving. As we continue to improve on our world-class approach to servicing our clients, I'd like to take the time to wish everyone a very prosperous holiday season, looking forward to what 2019 is going to bring.

Len Summa

Written by Len Summa

Len Summa joined Data Age Business Systems, Inc. in 2012 and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Before becoming Data Age Business Systems’ CEO, Mr. Summa was Chief Operations Officer (COO) for four years. He has 26 years of experience in executive software solution sales and operational management for both early stage and well-established firms. Prior to his Data Age service, Mr. Summa was the General Manager of global sales and operations at Persystent Software, an industry-leading enterprise recovery software. Mr. Summa has also served as the Director of North American SMB sales and operations at Learn.com, the preeminent software firm in the learning management space. Mr. Summa has a vast business and entrepreneurial background and was the co-founder of Lou Ferrigno/Fitness Showrooms, a highly successful retail and wholesale chain located throughout the Northeastern United States.

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