The next HGTV Star may be among us…..

I have never been a huge HGTV fan only because I have no talent when it comes to decorating or do-it-yourself projects.  The same cannot be said for one of the managers that I visited with several weeks ago.  Ms. Felicia Gilleylen at our Okolona store had not only added several wall decorations on her own but she and Erin had cleaned the store top to bottom.  I thought the inside of the store looked awesome so I wanted to recognize both of them on the blog.   For those of you who know Felicia, you know she is always dressed to a tee and has a personality that everyone loves.  I can easily see her on her own HGTV show.  Add our own area manager, Janna Tolar, with all her talent and projects that she does and it would be a smash hit!

Oh, and I must mention that Felecia and Erin had a perfect audit.  Way to go Ladies!!


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Taken for Granted?

In our manager’s meetings we often discuss the importance of telling our customers how much we appreciate their business.  As we’ve said, our customers are just like you and me. . . they want to do business with people who actually appreciate it.  It is funny though how some businesses tend to overlook their very best customers.

Being a fan of great customer service, I am keenly aware of the treatment I receive when visiting any retail or service business and I have found that many businesses make a common error.  They take long time customers for granted.

For example, I have seen waitresses at some of my favorite restaurants who become so comfortable and friendly with the regulars that they truly treat them like “family”.  The pleasantries and niceties expected of a seasoned wait person are all but forgotten when dealing with long time customers.  Often it is the best customers who are treated like family. . . like a little brother.

I have also witnessed retail establishments who take for granted some of their better customers.  The retailers feel that since certain customers have been doing business with them for several years then they can count on their business for several more.  Some businesses focus so much energy on bringing in new business that they forget to take care of the old business that made them successful in the first place.

Whenever I get the feeling that a store is taking my business for granted I do my best to take a long break from shopping with them.  It’s really funny how I can frequent a business once a week and get mediocre service but if I skip a few months and go back I get the best service in the world.

The point of today’s blog post is this — make sure you never take any customer’s business for granted.  Treat each and every customer like it is your first time dealing with them and you are trying to make the right first impression.  And finally, take a moment to give your best customers a special “Thank you”.

Have a great weekend.  — Luke

“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect of towards others.”  Dalai Lama


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A Fresh Look

During Kim’s presentation on office appearance at our last manager’s meeting she encouraged everyone to take a fresh look at their office.  By stepping back and taking a fresh look at our offices we will notice things that we overlook on a daily basis that could be hindering the appearance of the office.

Luke and I spent yesterday afternoon meeting with Bradley Rodgers.  Bradley operates a couple of businesses similar to us in Arkansas.  I was excited about hearing some of Bradley’s new ideas and changes he is implementing in his business and discussing how they could also benefit us.  I was also very anxious to have Bradley do a walk through at Simple Pawn and Approved Auto to get his input on these two stores.  It had been over a year since Bradley last visited them.  Bradley noticed several things, both positive and negative, that I had been overlooking, even though I visit these stores on a daily basis.  I encourage you to not only take a fresh look yourself, but get the opinion of someone that isn’t in your office everyday.

Have a great Wednesday…Louis

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Spirit of Montgomery


Congrats to Wendy Watson, Rhonda Vernon, Tina Brown, and Christina Sciple for winning the Spirit of Montgomery Spirit Stick.  The Macon office was awarded the stick at our quarterly managers meeting for the exceptional job they do collecting.  They will possess the stick until our next quarterly meeting where it will be awarded to the office that has best exemplified the Spirit of Montgomery Enterprises.

Have a great day….Louis



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A Few Quotes For Friday

Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly in the distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand. – Thomas Carlyle

True Prosperity is the result of well placed confidence in ourselves and our fellow man. – Benjamin Burt

Depend not on fortune, but on conduct. – Publilius Syrus

Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest. – Confucius

A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.Francis Bacon

 The key is to be like a duck, smooth and unruffled on the surface but paddling furiously underneath. – unknown

Have a great Friday—-Louis


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Manager’s Meeting

We will be meeting again today to make final preparations for tomorrow’s manager meeting.  I hope that we are not only able to bring new ideas to the table but also are able to re-energize your drive to succeed in areas that are covered at every meeting.  Although I have only been with the Company for a year now (wow time has flown!), I always look forward to any Company functions that involve a group of us getting together.  Not only do I always take away something new and receive a re-charge to my motivation but I also love getting to see everyone and catch up on what has happened since I last saw you.  I guess you could say it’s like a family reunion without the drama and crazy relatives!

My part of the meeting will involve presenting the updated policy and procedure manuals.  I hope that these manuals will be a useful tool as we move towards a standardization of our procedures.  I want to say a special thank you to those who helped me make the final edits to the manuals – Bellena, Shauna, Kim, Michelle and Michele.  You ladies are awesome!!  Bellena, Michelle and Michele took a lot of time going though the manuals and making final corrections.   I would have never gotten everything done without their help.

Have a great day!



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Who Stands Out?

If you have attended any of our Managers’ Meetings in the past you should know how important the topic of customer service is to our company.  As always, in the meeting scheduled for May 22, we plan on discussing and exploring how we can better serve our customers.  In preparation for the upcoming meeting we have an assignment for all managers.  The good news for the managers is that we strongly encourage you to share the responsibility of this assignment with assistant managers and CSR’s so that your whole office can collaborate on this effort.

For the meeting, we ask that each office manager discuss with their employees what businesses they frequent that has truly outstanding customer service.  After everyone in each office has weighed in on who they think are top notch customer oriented businesses the manager needs to decide which business will be submitted as their particular office’s favorite.

During the customer service segment of our meeting we will briefly discuss the businesses that were turned in by the offices and the traits they all seem to share.  As part of the assignment the office managers need to come to the meeting prepared to point out what makes the business their office submitted stand out among its competitors.

Please submit your office’s selection to JonJon at no later than noon this coming Friday, May 17.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the meeting next week! — Luke

“Your customers are responsible for your company’s reason for existing.”  Marilynn Suttle


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Don’t bunt…..Aim out of the ballpark!!

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Amanda in Fulton had written a quote on her dry erase board in their office that said…”Don’t bunt….Aim out of the ballpark.”  Having been a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan all of my life, I particularly loved that the quote related to baseball.  I can think of several instances in a tight game in which one of our best players was coming up to bat and a decision had to be made by both teams.  Should our manager let the player go for the big hit or should he play it safe and have the player bunt in order to advance the runners?  Should the opposing team intentionally walk the batter, change pitchers or just hope for the pitcher to deliver his best pitches?  In life as in baseball, we don’t always know the right choice to make in these situations.  However, with customer service and in our daily work, I believe it is always the best choice to aim out of the ballpark.  The ladies at the Fulton office have done just that over the past few months.  I have seen Amanda and Alise go out of their way to help customers on many occasions.  I have also seen firsthand how committed both of them are to doing the best job possible on a daily basis.  I also look forward to working with Nicole and seeing how far all of them can aim out of the ballpark!


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An Afternoon with Duck Dynasty

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It is great when we have a chance to do something good for charity and to also do a little something special for our employees.  Just recently an opportunity has arisen to do just that here at MEI.

A local charity in Fulton, April’s Angels, is raising money for a new school playground that will be handicapped accessible so that all the school kids will get to enjoy it.  It is an expensive investment so the group is hard at work raising money which is where the exciting part comes in for some lucky employees.

Reality TV star and Duck Commander CEO, Willie Robertson, will be visiting Fulton, MS with his wife Korie and their children on the afternoon of June 30 to put on a faith based program tailored to “kids of all ages”.  Our company is helping sponsor the event and is also purchasing twenty of the best tickets available to give away to ten employees who will have their name pulled in a drawing to take place this coming Friday morning May 10.  The drawing will take place at the Fulton office and it will be recorded and posted to the blog at 9:00 am so be watching to see if you win.

Here is what you need to do if you want a chance to win two tickets.  Please let your store supervisor know you are interested no later than 11:00 Thursday morning.  Money Matters offices please let your area managers know, Kwik Sak please let Jana know, the shop guys can let Zack know and so on.  Since this is something special for employees we ask that you only enter if you or your immediate family (kids, grand kids etc.) will use the tickets. 

Good luck to all who choose to enter the drawing! — Luke

“That’s a fact, Jack!”  Si Robertson

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Below are a few quotes on change.  I believe one of the characteristics that sets successful people and organizations apart is the ability to accept and adapt to change.  I recently started a new book entitled Switch How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.  I look forward to sharing some of the highlights of this book over my next couple of blog post.

Have a great day–Louis

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself   -Leo Tolstoy

The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind. –  Friedrich Nietzsche

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. – Albert Einstein

The Times They Are a-Changin – Bob Dylan

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