You know, I’m a picky customer sometimes. While it doesn’t take a whole lot to win me over, I’m more apt to stay loyal to individuals/businesses who go out of their way to win my business, or just make my day in general. I’m not talking pushy sales tactics — I’m talking general every day common sense, doing a little more than your job requires, making the customer happy.
Case in point: ever since my hairstylist of over 15 years moved, I had tried many different hair/styling places around the metro area and locally. On a whim, I tried the local beauty school: to my surprise I had the best job ever done on my hair, for just a fraction of what I normally paid far less competent (and snobbier!) businesses. The next week I went back and took Jessie. The young lady who cut her hair talked to her, fussed over her, and gave her the best time — more than any of the other places I had taken her combined! This place went out of their way to make you feel welcome: offering you something to drink, or a snack … no one else does that.
Another example: the local Burger King. Actually at the time, we had two local — one in Gardendale and one in Fultondale, about the same travel time to either depending on the route you took. (Hwy 31 vs I-65) The one in Gardendale had been rude to me several times and it seemed no matter what time of day I went, their service was slow. The one in Fultondale however was a stark contrast! I had taken Jessie once for her birthday. Both Jim and her mother were working that day, so it was just the two of us. When I ordered, I told the cashier that it was her birthday and asked if they had a crown (back when they still carried them, I don’t think they do anymore). She said she’d check and we quickly received our food and sat down to eat. A few minutes later, the manager came over to inform me that they were out of crowns, and instead brought Jessie 4 extra toys for her kid’s meal! Not only was their service quick and the establishment clean, they went out of their way to make my child’s day a little happier with a little something extra. They had my loyalty then, and I can honestly say that we have had little or no problems with their service! (I can think of maybe once or twice they’d get an order wrong, but they are quick to correct and more than compensate for it!) How many restaurants or eating establishments do that anymore?
Any place that treats my loved ones well is going to get my business — period!
My last example: Hobie. Her original vet, Dr. Allen, had retired some time ago and his clinic is now run by someone … let’s say “less than scrupulous.” The new vet apparently has no problem overcharging, and running excessive and unnecessary tests. Nevermind the fact that he and/or his staff mistreated my poor Hobie!!!!! Ever since I have filed my complaint, I have heard of dozens of stories similar to mine. From what I understand he’s soon to be investigated. Jim suggested I also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau … I just may do that.
Anyways, last week, we had finally found a new vet — someone I liked and who treated Hobie very well. On short notice, she was able to come out to see my poor little one here at my home. Both she and her assistant were very kind and professional in every way. Her name is Dr. Michelle Johnson with At Home Pet Care. To anyone in the Birmingham metro area and outward areas, I highly recommend her! Her prices were very reasonable and she explains everything she’s going to do upfront with you so that there are no surprises when the bill comes. My biggest regret is that I did not find out about her sooner!
Her info is: At Home Pet Care, P.C. – Dr. Michelle Johnson / Phone: 205-616-5184 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org — she does not have a website yet, but says it is coming soon.
I had called her Sunday night and left a message letting her know that Hobie had passed away and thanked her for the service and advice. (Mostly I wanted to thank her for LISTENING TO ME — something that NO ONE at Dr. Allen’s clinic ever did!) In the mail today, I received a card from Dr. Johnson expressing her sympathies and some very kind words. Again I ask: how many businesses do that kind of thing anymore?
It may be a while before I get another pet … but at least I know what vet he/she will be seeing!