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New Van, Old Expectations, Same Praise

We got a new van today.  It’s because we have 100 kids (5 actually) and our really big SUV isn’t really big enough, anymore.


I found it in Texas and had it shipped. The dealer rep, Ali at Round Rock Nissan, was excellent to work with. Fast follow up and follow through, and very high attention to detail.  The shipping carrier completely stunk, but that’s not for today.

As I have done for years, with all our vehicles, I get on and cringe after I see what I have to pay to kid-proof our rides with custom-fit floor mats, seat covers and liners.

If I could rhino-line the whole interior, I’d do it. Just ask the purple crayon on the ceiling in my wife’s SUV if it loves being immortalized outside of a coloring book.  The SUV is a 2015 aging in dog years. Come see it. I dare you.

Anyway, since the van is a newer model the exact-fit parts page didn’t have the full breadth of what I was looking for so I called to ensure there was not a secret rubber floor liner merch’ed elsewhere on the site.

I spoke to the rep, Khloe, for about 20 minutes. Peppered her with questions and then negotiated a package deal on the big ticket for a few bucks off and free shipping.  I came loaded for bear on the call, and Khloe met me head on.

I dropped $450 on seat covers at today because Klhoe was my Sherpa. At the end of the call, I asked her how I could let someone know how good she was and thanked her for all her help.

This is what I sent to the email addy she gave me:


Email Subject: Excellent Customer Interaction


I hope this email finds its way to management and other relevant parties.

I just spent 20 mins with Khloe to place a $450+ order on seat covers for a new van.

I found her to be:

Detail Oriented
Super friendly

And she knew your products, company and processes cold.

From color matching due to flash usage during product photo production, to how my card could be charged multiple times at shipment if my order was broken into multiple shipments, she was on it. We also seamlessly adjusted account information while I was in order processing workflow.

She was engaged and took pride in her work. This was a consultative sale and considered purchase.

I’d hire her in a heartbeat for any of my businesses,  as service is the next competitive edge beyond verticalization in the age of Amazon.

Bravo. Ring the gong for her.



I send stuff like this pretty regularly.

I want to make sure that the best people I interact with as a consumer stay connected to the companies that I want to buy from or need. It’s up to those people’s managers to invest in them, their function and do the work to keep them engaged and on the bus or they will lose customers like me. I notice when it changes.

Next time I call, I’m asking for Khloe directly and I’ll happily vote with my credit card.

I’m not alone in my thinking. Most eCom and retail isn’t dead, it just needs to be service-centric at all levels, whether it produces its own products or not.

My wife thinks I’m too difficult and I expect too much in most situations. Maybe.

I, however, only think expectations as high as mine are a net negative if:

  1. You don’t communicate effectively or agree on the goals / expectations, ahead of time;
  2. Your level of expectations are inconsistent across similar types of interactions;
  3. If you don’t ensure you offer equal amounts of praise for jobs well done and especially heavy praise when people go the extra mile when no one is looking, and;
  4. You hold yourself to a lower standard than others.

You don’t have to expect less from yourself or other people just because that’s the norm. Set a high bar, reinforce it with praise and live it yourself.


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