Going the Extra 5,000 Miles


Rapport Racing Over the Rockies

When I was a fledgling businessman in the ’60s I read a great book; MINDING THE STORE by Stanley Marcus; founder of Nieman Marcus. He tells a story about being the only person in his Dallas headquarters early one Sunday morning. He was there catching up on mail when the phone rang. Some people in his position would not pick up the phone, but he did.

There was a woman on then other end calling from Houston who was furious that the dishes she ordered did not arrive, and that she had guests coming for a dinner party that afternoon.

What did Stanley Marcus do? 

He put a duplicate order in his car and drove the 240 miles to Houston (four hours away) and delivered her dishes personally in time for her dinner party. Needless to say, she became a customer for life. That’s Service!


I received an e-mail this morning (Sunday) from Peter Skaaning in Beverly Hills. Peter is the owner of Rapport International Furniture. He said that he got an irate call from a customer in Wisconsin, 2,500 miles away saying that her furniture had not arrived and that she needed it NOW! 

What did Peter Skaaning do?

In his e-mail he said that he asked himself, “What would Ron do? He said that the answer came immediately. He packed a duplicate order in the company truck along with two of his delivery employees and sent them off to Wisconsin (5,000 miles round-trip) with instructions to “Make this Customer Happy.” I’m certain that they will, and that this little “mistake” will generate a customer for life, 2,500 miles away. 


There’s a chapter in SUCCESS MADE EASY titled STUFF HAPPENS. Yes, I cleaned it up a little for the book. The point is that “Stuff” happens to everyone, and it’s what you do with it that determines the outcome much more than the “stuff” itself.


One Response to “Going the Extra 5,000 Miles”

  1. john rogers Says:

    wow, no kidding, that is beyond amazing customer service! i sure hope the guy who made that mistake learns to be a lot more careful about packing orders up that are going a long way out of town!

Leave a Reply