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February 19, 2013

Ragged Mountain Running Shop

by cjpost88

This weekend’s reading about Apple’s exceptional customer service was quite impressive to say the least.  When Mr. Gallo was discussing Apple’s formula for enhancing customer interactions, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to my experience working at the Ragged Mountain Running Shop on the Corner.  I started working there in high school and the importance of treating customers how we would want to be treated was drilled in from day one.   


As soon as a customer walks in the shop, no matter how busy you are, you have to greet them and ask how you can help.  The owner, Mark Lorenzoni, grinds this behavior into us with constant prodding and would rather a customer be asked ten times than none. 


We’re instructed that when writing up a sale (yes, we write up sales by hand) that if the phone rings and no one is free to answer, you let it ring.  The customer who has taken time to drive down to the shop is more important than someone who might be calling asking what time we close. 


When talking with customers we are required to ask much more than “which shoes do you want?”  When I finish working with a customer, aside from how healthy they are, I almost always know what race he is training for and his goal, how his last race went, and how his training is currently going.


Mark validates his policies by saying that it’s not just customer service rather it’s treating customers how you would want to be treated.   Following that simple rule for 31 years has given the shop a reputation of stellar customer service.  In fact we literally have hundreds of customers that live out of state that wait until they’re back in Charlottesville either visiting family or for business to come see us and get a new pair of shoes.

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