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“The Boys (and Girls) in Bossier

June 13, 2013
Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner – Founders Insurance Group

A common term often heard in business circles is “value proposition.” In laymen’s terms, a business’ value proposition is simply a promise of value that a particular business offers its customers. It is a term that we speak of often here at Founders. On a regular basis, we examine that item or items of value that we hope will separate our company from our competitors.

If you follow this blog you may be familiar with the fact that occasionally I will speak about other business’ that offer a value proposition that strikes my fancy. It is also no secret that my wife and I share a passion for seeing our beautiful country by motorcycle. Over the years, we have accumulated more than 100,000 miles covering all of America’s fifty states. Along the way, it is inevitable that a mechanical breakdown is part of that equation.

Just about a year ago, we had the opportunity to explore the beautiful Ozark Mountains in Arkansas along with a ride along the famous Route 61, also known as the “Blues Highway.” Route 61 runs from New Orleans all the way to Minnesota. However the portion south of Memphis follows the mighty Mississippi through the towns that were home to some of America’s greatest blues musicians and juke joints.

We just happened to pick one of the hottest weeks in years in the south. For eight consecutive days we faced Capturetemperatures of 102 degrees and higher! We, along with our motorcycles suffered the effects of the scorching heat, finally breaking down outside of Shreveport Louisiana. We rolled into Bossier City, an adjacent city to Shreveport, badly needing some repairs. We arrived after Bossier City Harley Davidson had closed. Fortunately, a couple of mechanics were at the dealership working after hours. They promptly took us in, gave us some cold water and arranged for our bikes to be fixed first thing in the morning as not to disrupt our trip. They went out of their way to help us find a motel and a decent meal. They did a fantastic job at a fair price and sent us on our way. They demonstrated their value in a way that was welcoming to two well-cooked riders and kept our annual vacation intact.

As luck would have it, we ended up in that part of the country again this year while trying to stay south of the awful tornadoes that were wreaking havoc on the Midwest. Coming from Texas, we managed to stay in front of the storms that were just behind us. Since we were in town, we stopped by the dealership to say thanks for last year’s help. We again arrived just after the dealership had closed. The owner, Brad Mayo, and his team of employees joined together for an after work cold beer and conversation. They invited us to join them. We decided to take a break and ended up staying until nearly 9:30 in the evening! The heavy rains caught up with us and without saying a word, they went out in the rain and took our bikes into the garage. Brad showed us his collection of beautifully restored bikes and then offered us his own truck to find a motel! Included in his offer was to keep the bikes locked up and dry until morning. After last years’ experience, it didn’t come as a surprise. But what really caught my attention as a business owner was Brad’s staff. When most businesses finish their work day, employees head for the exits as soon as possible. It was clear to me that Brad has created a family atmosphere with his staff. I mentioned this to Service Manager, Ron Risley, and he echoed my observation. Ron also offered his business card in the event that we had any issues once we returned to the road. He even wrote his personal cell number on the back of the card! The fact is that when a business establishes that type of culture, it spills over into the customer experience. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. Bossier City Harley Davidson has a value proposition that is customer centered. They knew that we were not there to buy anything this time, but the experience remained the same.

As a business owner, it is important that our customers know why we are different. Founders is comprised of people that care about each one of our customers. We place that type of attitude above a person’s skill level when we hire a new staff member. Skills can be taught, but attitude is something that often comes along with the employee. It is something that we strive for every day. It is what separates quality small businesses from the big box stores. My experience at Bossier City Harley was a reminder, from the customer side of the fence as to why this is so important. Customers that arrive on price will leave on price. In the end, it is the customer experience that keeps customers for the long term.

Have a great day!

Chris Garlasco

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