Like most real estate agents, I have various types of contractors on a resource list that I share with my clients. And it's hard to get on and easy to get off my list.
Lately, as I think about ways to make myself more referable, I've been considering my list of professionals I refer and thinking about what they have done over the years to go beyond normal expectations.
Last night, at about 8:30, I got a reminder.
I noticed that my house was chilly. I checked the thermostat, and it read 56 degrees. I felt the radiators and they were stone cold. And the weather forecast included a little cold front moving our way.
So, I called the cell phone number for a guy named Ron Gallant. I first got his name from some clients back in the mid-1980s, and they raved about him. Since then, I've put him at the top of the list for heating and air conditioning contractors. And each time I recommended him, I'd get a phone call telling me he was absolutely terrific.
When it came time to put central air into my own house, Ron took care of it for me. And last night, when my radiators were icy cold, he actually answered the call. That got a Wow!
He promised to call me as soon as he got home, and talk me through getting it started. He was helping me to avoid a service call. OK, that gets another Wow!
Still, it didn't work - I couldn't find one of the switches that needed to be turned on. So he's coming over in a couple of hours to take care of it. And this is on the afternoon before he hops a plane to Paris for a little vacation! That gets a third Wow! And I'm sure he will earn Wows Number 4 and 5 by showing up on time and then fixing the problem.
In a nutshell, Ron Galant keeps his word about small things, so I know I can trust him with the big things. He does little things like answering his phone or returning calls within an hour or so. He shows up on time. He is competent. He takes really good care of me and the people I care about. And, he even passes the fun test!
So, as I put next year's business plan together, I am thinking about just what 5 Wows service will look like in my real estate practice, and I'm using this guy as my model.
I made it through the night with two down comforters and the help of Ms. Mum and Mr. Snowball, my version of Garrison Keelor's Cat Warmers.
Update! Of course, he showed up on time. Of course, he fixed the problem! Then he didn't charge me for the house call. That would be the 6th Wow, which, on my 1-5 Wow scale, puts this guy over the top.