Why Our Customer Service Works
The sun was snuggling down behind the office building to the west. The last beams of sunlight skipped off the roof of that building right into our office windows. In the summer, when the golden hour lights our front offices like Vampire Weekends album cover, you know you've put in a full day's work.
Those last beams bouncing off the roof caught him at his desk swiveling in his chair, fingers to his temple, phone to his ear, eyes staring at the computer. He'd tried everything. He'd sent over detailed instructions. He talked to them for 12 hours on the phone. He'd done hours worth of screen sharing and remote access. The only solution was to go there in person. The problem was the place was four hours away.
The options were limited. We could have sent Kevin, but he was lost in the Grand Canyon somewhere. We could have sent Bart, but he was in Florida. The only other guy available would be the president. But we couldn't send him. You can't ask the president to go on a service call 4 hours away when you have a $5 million contract bid coming due, a 30% growth rate for the month, and projects on the factory floor that are much more lucrative than on-site service. It just can't be done.
But Mark is the president. And he was the one taking the call. And he was the one who was going to fix the problem.
"I'll be there tomorrow."
Mark didn't have to make that service call. The sale had already been made and the other company had all the information needed to set up the system. Mark could have just said, "We gave you everything that you ordered and more. It just doesn't make good financial sense for me to come out there to set this thing up for you." But customer service matters. Why? Because at this point in the sale you aren't concerned with the availability, the cost, or the quality of your goods. You're concerned with creating an authentic experience for your customer.
If you've explored enough business philosophy books, the major idea business professionals started to believe is that we've moved into a new economic era. Joseph Pine, author of The Experience Economy, argues that economies first started selling commodities (things that the earth produces). Then we started selling goods (things that we manufacture with the commodities). Then we moved on to selling services (actions we perform with goods). Now we have moved on to selling experiences. The examples range from Disney Land to the Hard Rock cafe. They are not so much focused on getting you to buy something because of the quality of the goods or services. You can ride better roller coasters at Cedar Point and get a better burger at Five Guys. They are selling you the experience of riding a roller coaster in a place where dreams come true or eating a hamburger surrounded by rock stars.
The big idea that Pine hammers home is that in order to succeed in today's economy, you have to focus on selling experiences that make people want to come back and buy your product again. Alternatively, you have to create an experience that people will want to pony up big bucks for.
The question is, "How do you sell an experience when you are a goods based manufacturing company?" For us, the experience is the people you work with at our company.
The Best Experience Available
When you buy a mixer or a tank from Mixer Direct, you can bet that we will get you a product customized for your specific needs and it will work as promised. But other companies might be able to offer you the same thing. The difference is that Mixer Direct is a company that bases our interaction with our customers on Biblical principles. We think that the Bible is trustworthy. When it says that living a life modeled after Jesus' life is the Good Life, we believe it.
The Bible is not a book of stories and rules that are meant to keep people from enjoying life. It's the opposite. The Bible shows us what it means to be fully alive. When you are fully alive experiencing life as the truest version of yourself, you are living life in the way that God meant for it to be lived. That is living the Good Life.
Now I don't mean to imply that everyone who you might work with here at Mixer Direct is a Christian. A lot of people aren't. However, we believe that the Biblical principles we base our business on make for a better working environment, a better product, and an overall better business.
Consequently, we believe we can experience the Good Life by doing nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but instead we value others above ourselves (Philippians 2:3). We believe that we can experience the Good Life when we thank God for the good and the bad that come our way (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We believe we can experience the Good Life when we do everything in our business in a way that makes God look glorious (1 Corinthians 10:31).
We also believe that we experience the Good Life when we go the extra mile to help customers set up their systems even when other companies wouldn't (Matthew 5:41).
And that's just what Mark did. He experienced the Good Life that God offered him. His experience with God transformed him and because of that he treated his customer with generosity, kindness, and humility.
At the end of the day, we simply believe that there's just not a better experience to be had than doing business with people who are living in the Good Life that God has offered. When you invite others into that experience so they can try it themselves, you're inviting them into the best experience life has to offer. Disney and rock and roll can't even come close to that. Not only does this experience of the Good Life make Mixer Direct a great place to work, it makes a great company to buy mixers from.