How to Wow Your Customers and Make Them Loyal

On a warm Friday afternoon in Traverse City, Michigan, the owner of Ferguson Lawn Equipment, Chuck Ferguson,was just about ready to close for the day. The phone rang and as Chuck answered it, he was greeted by a very desperate voice. It was Bob Jenkins, the general manager of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, one of their customers. The reason for his call to Ferguson ferguson's 898Lawn Supplies and Equipment was that they had a very big problem.

As Bob Jenkins explained, the Grand Hotel was getting ready for a very prestigious golf tournament that was scheduled to start the next morning. Their one and only Jacob¬son greens mower, the one that they used to trim the putting green on each hole of the course, had broken down. The golf course needed to have it repaired immediately, because the greens had to be mowed the next morning at 5:30 a.m.

In the extremely competitive business of lawn supplies and equipment, the Fergusons had a large area to cover. It included the upper half of the state of Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Mackinaw City was 110 miles away, not including the ferry boat ride across the straits to the island. In addition to that, no motorized cars or trucks were allowed on the vacation island.

It was going to take a minimum of four hours for them to reach the golf course via service truck. Chuck knew they needed to act fast if they were going to help solve this dilemma. Chuck asked Bob Jenkins if he could have the mower loaded onto a horse-drawn wagon and hauled over to the small airport that was located on Mackinac Island. The general manager answered yes, but asked Chuck to explain. Chuck replied that in an emergency like this, the Fergusons could use their family airplane to fly the repairman with the parts necessary to repair the mower. As an extra measure of service, they decided to pull out the back seat of the airplane and load up a brand new Jacobson greens mower to take along as a loaner

After landing the airplane, Chuck and his mechanic unloaded the brand new Jacobson greens mower. They explained that even though they were repairing the old mower, they wanted to leave a new one as a backup (free of charge) just in case anything else went wrong with the repaired mower. They would pick up the loaner on the next service call. The general manager was more than satisfied.

The next morning, the greens were mowed and the players commented on how beau¬tiful the golf course looked. The prestigious golf tournament was a success. As it turns out, the brand new Jacobson greens mower never left the island. The general manager thought it would be a good idea to have a back-up mower just in case they ever needed it again, and bought it.

What are your thoughts? I would like to hear from you.

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Tom Borg


My name is Tom Borg. I am a business expert who works with small and mid-size companies to effectively and profitably improve customer acquisition and retention. I help these businesses through his use of my consulting, speaking, training and coaching. To ask me a question or to hire me, please contact me at: (734) 404-5909 or email me at: tom@tomborg.com or visit my website at: www.tomborgconsulting.com

Tom Borg