By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
With pricing pressures mounting from national discount chains, the service side of the business has become more critical than ever for independent dealers looking to distinguish themselves from their big-box competitors.
Bob Cole, president of Bob & Ron's World Wide Stereo, here, was recently reminded of that fact by a customer's thank you note. As the A/V specialist noted in his reply, "With all the pressure coming from the big-box stores targeting us, it's wonderful to know that our company mission of 'doing well by doing good,' and providing honest and quality service, truly does make a difference and is appreciated by those we care so much about."
Cole, a TWICE retail award winner and president of the Home Entertainment Source A/V buying group, agreed to share the letter with TWICE readers in the hope that it will "remind us all about why we are in business."
Many years ago my wife and I went to a small shop owned and operated by two young, energetic men by the name of Ron and Bob. We continued to make purchases there; our latest was delivered and installed just the other day. We are now the proud owners of a 42-inch Hitachi plasma TV with a perfect console and hooked up to the Bose speakers I purchased from you years ago. Are we pleased with this purchase? You bet! The picture is beautiful. This adjective is often over-used, but in this case it is the perfect adjective — beautiful.
When Ardene and I were considering a new TV, we both agreed without hesitation that there is only one place where we would make such a purchase and that is World Wide Stereo.
When we first entered your store, Chris Clements approached us and offered his assistance. After telling him what our interest was and the fact that we were confused by all the choices, he worked with us in a very gentle manner. There was no question that he knew what he was talking about. We very quickly arrived at what the best choice would be for us. He offered to visit with us in our home to help determine the best size and location for the new TV.
Within a week he was in our home and offered a suggestion that I had not considered at all. His suggestion was the best location that was perfect for our circumstances.
We received a printed estimate of the TV with the possibility of surround sound. Though I would like to have the surround sound, it had to be put on the back burner for financial reasons. Chris in no way tried to push this on us. He helped us to realize that this could be an add-on at a later time.
After receiving the estimate, we visited him at the store and finalized the purchase. At all times he was courteous and professional. The fact that he was so knowledgeable about the product and the system's operation was a great comfort to us.
Installation day arrived, Oct. 19. Jason and Glenn delivered the TV and components. Right off the bat they both called me "Sir." They put on shoe coverings before entering my home. I told them that this was not necessary, but they said it is company policy. Just before the delivery arrived, the installation crew arrived, headed by Mike Shaffer along with Zeek and Jesse. "Sir" and foot coverings were the order of the day. Needless to say, I was impressed with this training and respect.
The men went right to work and worked without stopping until the job was completed, some six hours later. They cleaned up every particle of waste and left my home totally clean. They worked with me, explaining the remote and its operation. When they left I was comfortable with it, and this is saying a lot. No more than an hour later, Chris called me asking if I was satisfied with the installation and if I had any questions. He offered to visit with us in our home in a couple of weeks to make sure we knew how to operate all the equipment since there [are so many features]. I will take him up on his offer.
Bob, I want you to know how totally pleased I am with all that I received from World Wide Stereo. You do a good job. This is the reason why your business is so successful. People recognize quality. Continue what you are doing. Thank you for all that you have done for me. You and Ron worked very hard to bring your business to where it is today. You deserve all that results from it. My congratulations to you and all your staff.
— John W. and Ardene Vencius
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.