I got an email this week that made me think of you. It was from Eric Smidt, Founder and President of Harbor Freight Tools. Eric wrote to tell me about plans to close his stores an hour earlier starting next week.
The title of the email was “Doing the Right Thing” and inside was a short, simple, honest explanation about why I received the email and, more importantly, why the company was changing its policy. Below is what Eric said:
At Harbor Freight Tools, one of our guiding values is “Doing the Right Thing” for our customers, our communities and our employees. As we’ve continued to explore ways to make Harbor Freight an even better place to work, one of the things we heard from many of our store managers was that staying open until 9:00 PM meant that lots of our employees missed the chance to have family time in the evenings and often missed seeing their kids before bedtime.
The good news is that there was something we could do about that. So starting February 1st, all of our stores that currently close at 9:00 PM will close an hour earlier…at 8:00 PM. For your local store’s new hours, go to HarborFreight.com.
I know this change means that some of you will have to shop with us earlier in the day and I apologize for any inconvenience that may cause.
On behalf of all our Harbor Freight employees who now have a little more balance in their lives, I want to thank you for coming in a little earlier and helping us make Harbor Freight a great place to work.
Founder and President
Harbor Freight Tools
How awesome is that email? The company is very focused on taking care of the needs of its employees. Why? Eric and his team know that happy employees will be more loyal to the company and, therefore, more devoted to serving the needs of their customers.
Of course, we all know happy customers become repeat customers and are more likely to share their shopping habits with their friends.
Serve Your Employees
As I told you last month, my word for 2016 is Serve. I can’t think of a better example of service than what Eric is doing for his employees.
Taking care of the needs of your employees makes money, even if you close your store an hour earlier. Taking care of the needs of your customers makes money, even if you have to spend a little extra money and/or time helping them do something.
This concept of superior customer service is exactly what we talk about each week inside the Youversation community. Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. we gather to share examples of awesome customer service, tools to improve communication with our customers and employees, and resources that will help make us more productive and profitable.
Later this morning we will be gathering to talk about this month’s book, The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. If you haven’t read this book, I HIGHLY recommend you get it and read it. It will transform the way you think about your office or business.
In addition, I would LOVE for you to come join us and see for yourself how Youversation can give you the customer service training you need. There are no contracts – you simply join and stay as long as you need us.