I am a Lucchese boot man. I have been wearing Lucchese’s high-end, super comfortable Western boots handmade in El Paso for many years. And, I am on my fifth pair—all with a tailored toe, heel, leather, size and color. They are like working in bedroom shoes. At the end of a day on my feet, I feel like I could stand another ten hours. And, I have talked many a boot owner into switching to Lucchese from their preferred brand of choice.
My devotion to their brand is partly about their product—it is the pinnacle of quality. It is partly about their legacy dating back to 1883–the boot choice of John Wayne, President Lyndon Johnson, James Garner and Bing Crosby. It is partly about their sheer functionality of resilience, endurance and comfort since I work on my feet. It is mostly about Gloria. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
About the same time that I moved from Texas to Georgia, the boot dealer in Fort Worth with whom I traded went out of business. Lucchese only sells boots through authorized dealers. I needed a new pair of boots. So, I called a dealer in Georgia to learn if his store had a pair of size 10, ostrich boots with a #2 toe and a walking heal in chocolate brown. He did not. My next question was all about how to learn if any dealer in the Lucchese dealer network had that particular boot combination. Here is his answer:
“I do not. But, if you won’t tell anyone, I will give you the dealer only number I use to call the corporate office in El Paso. They may know how to find that particular boot.” I promised if I needed to order boots, I would have them ordered through his store. I called the corporate number.
“Good afternoon, this is Gloria, how may I be of assistance,” she said with her warmth meter turned up to its highest level. I told her the truth. I was not a dealer. A dealer who will remain nameless gave me the dealer only number to corporate. I was hoping she could help me locate a specific combination of boot. And, I was aware boots needed to be ordered through an authorized Lucchese boot dealer. The next line made me a Lucchese customer for life.
“Yes, Mr. Bell, we know all about your boot preference. There are only four pair of boots in existence with that unique combination and you, sir, own three of the them! We will need to make you a new pair. To which dealership would you like me to ship them. I will be delighted to send you an email when your boots ship so you will know when to contact that boot dealer.”
I was blown away. Here was a B2B company acting like a world class B2C company. I was impressed with their customer information process. I was impressed with their willingness to solve my problem, not give me rules and rebuttal. I was impressed that Gloria was all about a quality outcome as well as a quality experience.
What if the total survival of your unit, department, or organization depended on your customers’ assessment of your processes? It does! Think of your work like this: If there was a Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, or Academy Award for Customer Experience, what would it take for you to win it?