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I broke my ski boot recently… and had two completely different experiences at local ski shops when I tried to have it fixed. One store wanted to sell me a brand new (read: expensive) pair, and the other did something that absolutely blew me away. They’ve got a customer for life now… here’s what happened (and why it’s important for your business). 

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47 Replies to “They Didn’t Charge Me a Dime”

  1. Jeff
    Gratitude
    Your story makes me feel good
    from the inside out.
    Kindness & Caring spreads beyond
    the giver and the receiver
    It Unites Us All in Oneness🪐.
    Light 💫 and Love 💞
    in 2020 to You, Your Family
    and your Tribe.
    Ellen,
    🌌🙌🙏

  2. Bobby Kountz

    Reply

    Jeff-
    I know you’ve created thousands of videos, but this one is special. What’s extra special about it is the way you are asking us to not only think about how we treat others, but more importantly, how it will make others “feel” knowing they were well taken care of. You’re not telling, you’re asking. You demonstrated with a very short story, the power of a completely satisfied customer. You demonstrated it with a real life example and you used it to leverage a point about your very own business that completed the circle of the lesson. Thanks for modeling what “GOOD” looks like for all of us!!
    In Gratitude,
    Bobby-

  3. words of mouth supersede all recognition.
    ski bar has it take be recognized!

  4. Your back to back video about your ski boot experience and taking lessons from experts was awesome. Thank you 🤗

    • Thanks, Jeff. At this beginning of this new decade I’m collecting.visual images that offer great reminders for my work this year … and to share with others. I just added your picture with the ski boot and the link to this great story.

      Your story reminds me of being on the other side of the story. Years ago, I received a letter with a story about something I had done for someone that was beyond their expectation of what was possible and their appreciation when it was free. I felt grateful both that I was able to help and to receive the appreciation. In the challenging time we are living, may we all grow this circle. Your simple reminder is an inspiring way to begin 2020 and the new decade.

  5. So true. This is a great reminder that as a business owner not to dig into our position and defend every last dime. For the cost of spare parts, Ski Barn was able to generate so much goodwill.

    Thanks Jeff!

  6. This is something I wrote on my flag for the new year. To activate the abundance in my life. For my business this means also to diversify the payment logic and to add free value on and offline. As well as to offer extra free services like accompagny a client with a severe brain tumor from the train station to my practice because she could otherwise not find the way.

  7. This is a beautiful lesson. We all have something similar in our businesses where we can do exactly what Ski Bar did. Maybe provide free support to some new or existing clients every now and then.

  8. Dear Jeff
    I’ve bought your course twice now and not completed it either time… so why do I think you’ve offered me something really good… because if your attitude. This story represents you. It represents thoughtfulness and kindness and consideration of fellow men as well as trying to look after yourself. I try to do that too in my small business and when I get around to gtryibg to grow your tools and programmes will be the ones I use too as I think you’re a really nice person with great values and that’s what counts fir me. Thank you and happy and safe skiing. Best wishes Elizabeth

  9. Yes, absolutely. They say in Mexico create fame and go to sleep and it means do great things for people and people will take care of making you famous….
    Pleople are great at spread your fgood fame by telling others how great you are. Also, we want to not just always think of selling and we need to create the habit to take care of others and or do kind acts whenever possible, it is also about vibration. This can go a long long way. You know, pleople talk….

  10. Customer service is EVERYTHING! With my other fashion business (not the one we are building in Launch Club), I try to bend over backwards if there’s ever an issue, because it’s SO IMPORTANT for people to always have a positive association with my company. This had turned potential problems into loyal customers.

    We all love being heard. We must encourage our clients to communicate, and show them that they matter.

  11. This was a very inspirational video! It actually has me creating a list a small things I can do for my current clients just to surprise them and make them smile. Thank you Jeff for the awesome video this morning!

  12. I have long felt that customer service can make or break any buying experience.
    When the experience is poor, then the customer looks for more things that are wrong and when the service is excellent, they will not look for perfection.
    As the service provider, I think it takes a lot less energy to provide excellent service than it does to give poor service. Great service is a win-win all around. Love the video!

  13. Are you the same Jeff Walker who raises basset hounds with your wife?

  14. Surprise and Delight! Thanks for the reminder to focus on this and also – to treat customers as our extended family. I find that connection with my customers and have had the true pleasure of many years of connection with a lot of them. What a joy life is! Thanks for always keeping it real.

  15. Cheers to Ski Barn for “getting it”, and cheers to you for reminding us that if you take care of the your customers, they will take care of you.

  16. Great message! I had a similar experience with my Mountain bike! If your bike goes down in Tucson, go to Oro Valley Bikes! This is a great reminder of the power of doing the right thing and going the extra mile. Thanks for sharing!

  17. This is a great reminder. I hope you left them a great review on yelp and google maps. I think businesses always appreciate that. My favorite sushi place once read my review and the next time I came in they gave me a free dessert and thanked me!

  18. This is another video that makes me think Jeff is an Aquarius. The other one was when Jeff wore the shorts with the suit jacket because that guy, Ron? complained that Jeff’s attire wasn’t professional. Lol.

  19. Thanks, Jeff. Always nice to “hear” from you on Sundays …and as one of “your people” I can affirm that you “take care of your people.” Thanks so much.

  20. Well Jeff, what you have just been speaking about I have been practising for a very long time, reciprocity is a very simple and powerful formula, but unfortunately far too many business people either don’t know about it, or they chose to ignore the powerful attraction of reciprocity.
    The simple effect of generosity and reciprocity over the long term will bring ones business far more new customer business than any clever marketing campaign will ever achieve.
    When existing customers sing the praise of your particular business to other people, it will naturally have a very long lasting effect on the cash flow, and all we’ve done is being generous and caring of existing customers, its a no brainer.

  21. This is a powerful, yet simple story. Amazing customer service and going the extra mile
    makes a huge difference in the world. I plan to take this into my first/seed launch and beyond. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Also, come ski Utah! ❄️

  22. Hi Jeff glad you got them sorted , that is one of the oldest rules in business but many these days seem to have forgot it , word of mouth used to be the only way to market your business and took years to build a good reputation , in this instant world its good to remember the fundamentals of business still apply

  23. Mercedes Pelaez

    Reply

    Many thanks Jeff! while positive emotions such as joy are definitely part of the recipe for happiness, they are not the whole shebang. My best!

  24. It’s called enchantment. Hopefully someday we’ll all do it as common sense. The sooner, the better. Guy Kawasaki wrote a book about it in 2011. Please find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Enchantment-Changing-Hearts-Minds-Actions/dp/1591845831

  25. Oh, and Tony Hsieh, founder and CEO of (now Amazon owned) ZAPPOS.COM made it as the core value of any customer driven business: delivering happiness. His presentation is eloquent: https://youtu.be/6a7ZmuFyHB4
    I bow.

  26. Jeff,
    ‘We won’t have to Frankenstein your xxxx together’. That was a fantastic creative expression. I wrote it down and will use it in one of my course materials.
    As always, I love watching your Sunday videos.
    Bart

  27. Thanks Jeff, good reminder. I used to worry that giving too much advice for free would be bad for business. However, as time is going on, i now realise that all my ‘free’ good will, does earn me money …..eventually. No better advertisement than word of mouth.

  28. Jeff, a great example of playing the long game in how we treat our customers as well as being sensitive to what they want and need rather than going for the close too quickly. I guess this concept of ‘nurturing your prospects’ is at the core of what you teach. Thanks!

    p.s. You and I have the exact same ski boot, so I understand why you’d be reluctant to replace them! 🙂

  29. Jon Watkins

    Reply

    This reminds me of a bad experience I once had. Our company was engaged with a provider that wasn’t working out so well. Internally, we decided to sunset the agreement with the provider instead of renewing. Somehow, I missed the deadline by 9 days – and, worse, instead of giving them written notice of termination, I had only verbally notified them.

    When the rep came back to me, the company had decided that the contract stated a notification window for termination and it HAD to be in writing; in other words, they were auto-renewing our agreement for another year. This meant we had to fork over another $50,000 to this company for what amounted to a misunderstanding. This was not pleasant for us.

    Little did they know that (at the time) I was the president of a statewide association of high-level decision-makers. If they had chosen to go along with the spirit of the agreement, rather than holding our feet to the fire, the sunset story would have been a good thing. I could have related such a positive experience (similar to your experience with Ski Barn) and that alone could have netted them handfuls of contracts worth much, much more than $50k.

    However, this bitter experience with this “letter of the law” provider left me with only a terrible story to share. How many opportunities did this $50k cost them? This proves to me that kindness, common sense, and a bit of compassion is good business!!

    Great story Jeff!

  30. Our #1 Core Value is “Be the Customer”.

    While we work hard to never screw up, when It happens we look at it as an opportunity to Wow people. My best story is a customer screwed up bigtime, we fixed his error free of charge, he later told me were in our full right to tell him to “Go pound sand”, and had we done so, he would have lost his job!
    This approach has given us a higher NPS Customer Satisfaction score than Apple, and if anyone ever asks what happens if things don’t work out right, we send them to that client!

  31. I recently moved to Fort Collins, CO from Florida so I could ski more. You inspired me to do this years ago. Thanks Jeff.

  32. Today I took care of a friend for free…. and learnt just as much from her as well!!!
    I loved doing it, you know you’re doing it right when it’s easy and enjoyable. Being of service is a great feeling, can’t wait to grow my biz and do much much more!

  33. I guess the key is whether someone does this from their heart or to be manipulative because the truth will always out. The former is like the service that you received, whereas the latter is a bit more like a politician pretending they are your best friend! The choice, as business owners, is ours.

  34. Anna Hopkins-Arnold

    Reply

    Yes, great customer service (especially in a situation that’s a crisis for the customer) does win customers for life. Thanks for the reminder to take the time to recognize the customer is having a crisis and do what you can to get them down the road quickly.
    Ski Barn does have great boot fitters and great customer service.
    BTW – Autoworks on Florida Rd is the auto mechanic equivalent. They’ve gone above & beyond for us several times.

  35. Thank you Jeff, I love your stuff and how you teach! thank you. I am learning and now I have to implement it. I will update you as I do that. I am currently reading your book “Launch”. I am interested in helping Real Estate Agents and Small Businesses. There are no videos on that aspect in the bonus, and I am hoping there will be some examples of real estate course and marketing in your book.

    Thank you.
    Mumtaz

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