Term of the Day

If you have worked in our company for long then you should know the emphasis our organization places on providing great customer service.  In our quarterly manager meetings we head up every agenda with the topic.  On our company blog we routinely stress the powerful benefits of superior customer service.  And, hopefully your managers and area managers drill the importance of customer service immediately after your hiring.

I was scanning through some business websites the other day and someone had posted the Wikipedia definition of customer service.  As soon as I read it I knew I had my blog post for today.

Taken from Wikipedia:

Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. According to Turban et al. (2002), “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”

The importance of customer service may vary by product or service, industry and customer. The perception of success of such interactions will be dependent on employees “who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest,” according to Micah Solomon. From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization’s ability to generate income and revenue. From that perspective, customer service should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement. A customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer has of the organization.

Just in case you missed it, I would reread the last sentence again.  Have a great week everybody! — Luke

“A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”  Chinese Proverb



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Ben Franklin Says

One of my favorite business blogs is Business Insider.  It has breaking news, business news, some off the wall stuff that is interesting and, at times, some motivational tidbits.  The other day I came across a post that included several Benjamin Franklin quotes.  As you may know, Benjamin Franklin is the guy who invented lightening and he is the only dead president who really never was president.  All humor aside, Franklin was one of the most successful people I have studied and very few, if any, did more for our country than him.  I hope you enjoy some of the quotes I chose.  His wisdom is timeless.

“Plough deep while sluggards sleep and you shall have corn to sell and keep.”   

“Employee thy time well, if you meanest to gain leisure.”

“If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle?  Then if you are your own master, be ashamed to catch yourself idle.”

“At the working man’s house, hunger looks in but does not enter.”

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”

“He that pursues two hares at once does not catch one and lets the other go.”

“A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.”

“To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.”

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”

“The noblest question in the world is ‘What good may I do in it?”

Have a great day.



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Baldwyn Money Matters

This past week I spent a day with Susan and Angela in Baldwyn.  It happened to be one of those really slow days as far as business goes….one of those days that an average employee could have just taken it easy.  Not Susan and Angela.  They had taken it up on themselves to go through every folder for each of their active customers in order to determine what documents needed to be updated.  They had made lists and as a customer came in they were politely asking them to bring in a certain document the next time they were in the store.  As a business, we exist because of our customers so maintaining accurate customer information is a cornerstone to maintaining a close and profitable relationship with them.  Not only were Susan and Angela going the extra mile by updating customer information but there were also no mistakes found in their audit.  As I have said in previous blogs…..Coincidence?  I think not.  Janna has also mentioned the fact that Susan helps out at the business we own next door when needed which further demonstrates her commitment.  I truly enjoyed my day with these two special ladies and I hope they know how much of an asset they are to our company.



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Quarterly Meeting-Goals

I’m spending the morning preparing for our quarterly strategic planning meeting which will take place next Monday.  In this meeting our management team identifies problems, sets goals, and develops a timeline to accomplish these goals for the upcoming quarter.  We review our goals and the timeline at our biweekly staff meetings.  We have found having these goals in writing and knowing they will be reviewed at the staff meetings helps everyone stay on task to accomplish their goals.  I encourage you to take up this practice in your office.  Start small- pick one or two goals you would like to accomplish this quarter.  Map out a timeline with the dates by which you will accomplish your goals. Lastly, share these goals with your coworkers so they can help hold you accountable.  I think you will find this practice will aid you in accomplishing your goals.

Have a great Tuesday…Louis

All wise men share one trait in common: the ability to listen. -Frank Tyger

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No Excuses

In past blog posts we have mentioned that our car dealership, Approved Auto Sales, is a member of a Twenty Group industry consulting group.  As a member of a Twenty Group we report all kinds of car lot data ranging from sales and collection figures to inventory turnover and personnel expense.  Our data is then compared to the data turned in by the other nineteen members who make up the Twenty Group.  This statistical analysis, or benchmarking, allows us to see how our dealership is operating compared to other well run dealerships across the country.

In our consulting group’s monthly magazine, The Dealer Business Journal, I came across an article spelling out the importance of benchmarking.  The article goes on to make the point that merely collecting an array of statistics each month is not enough. . . it boils down to what you do with the data.  Do you act on it by implementing policies and procedures that move your business in the right direction?  Or, do you just make excuses?  The article I speak of really hit on the importance of not making excuses and I thought it was worth sharing.

Taken from the article:

“Resolve to separate yourself from your emotional attachment with your business.  This will always be a difficult task.  The dealer’s tendency is to defend weakness and to make exceptions for poor performance because most will identify themselves personally with their dealerships.  How many times have you heard or said, “my market is different” or “my customers are different.”  Is this a valid point or merely an excuse tendered to soothe your ego?  It is imperative that you do not formulate excuses for your deficiencies.  Dealers must realize that the dealership is an entity unto itself and must be analyzed objectively.  How would you critique your benchmark data if you did not know it was yours?  Isn’t that the most honest and objective assessment you can make?

Although the article speaks of dealerships I think it touches on most all in business and life in general.  It is easy to be critical of others but it is most beneficial to be critical of ourselves.

I hope you have a great week! — Luke

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”  George Washington

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Productive Meeting


Luke and I had a productive meeting with Josh Mabus of Mabus Agency in Tupelo last Friday.  Josh and his staff have played a significant role in many of the branding and marketing strategies we have implemented over the last year.  Our meeting Friday focused on a couple of projects we have been working on for several months.  We hope to have an announcement of one of these projects at our next managers meeting in May.  Much of the work we do with Mabus Agency is centered around investing in our company to position us for long term growth.  I look forward to seeing results of these projects in the near future!

Have a great week….Louis

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

“People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” -Plato



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Good News from Jackson

I was in Jackson last night attending dinner when great news for our industry came from the capitol building.  A bill concerning the sale of liened vehicles to scrap dealers passed both sides of the legislature with overwhelming support.  How does this affect our industry?  Well, if you have ever had a customer borrow money on a vehicle and then immediately go and sell the vehicle, without title, to a scrap dealer this new law will allow for serious criminal repurcussions.

In the past, many less than legitimate scrap dealers would knowingly purchase vehicles without titles and crush them immediately leaving little paperwork on the transaction.  When confronted with what they were doing many of these illegitimate scrap dealers would just smile knowing there were very few legal options for the lienholders to pursue.  Again, this new law changes all of that.

The Mississippi Title Pledge Association took a leading role in getting this bill passed but it had support from other industries as well.  Most notably, it was supported by the recyclers association which is made up of the legitimate scrap dealers who operate in a professional and honest manner.  This law just makes it much more difficult for the “underground” scrap dealers to operate with no fear of the law. — Luke

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”  Louis Seneca 


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Thank You!

Going the extra mile, having a can do attitude, and being professional at all times are all desired characteristics that have been mentioned on this blog from time to time.  I would like to thank Melissa Whitehead from Simple Pawn & Jewelry for exhibiting all of these characteristics.  Melissa has stepped up during some difficult times and displayed commitment and leadership.  Thank you for the great job and we appreciate everything you do!

I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing

Oliver Goldsmith


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The Beauty of Spring

Although Easter is not technically the start of spring many people view it as the “unofficial” beginning of the springtime season.  I thought a few quotes on the beauty of spring would help to brighten your day.  —  Luke

ps — I have found that when reading quotes it is best to read each one twice before moving to the next one.  See what you think!

“Behold my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!”  Sitting Bull

“Spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party!”  Robin Williams

“No winter last forever; no spring skips its turn.”  Hal Borland

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.”  Bern Williams

“April has put a spirit of youth in everything.”  William Shakespeare

“If we had not winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”  Anne Bradstreet

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”  Pablo Neruda

“Spring is when you feel like whistling. . . even with a shoe full of slush.”  Doug Larson




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Happy April Fools Day!

April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, April 1 is widely recognized as a day when people play practical jokes on each other.  In honor of April Fool’s Day, I thought some “fool”ish quotes would be in order:

April 1.  This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.  ~Mark Twain

He who is born a fool is never cured.  ~Proverb

Let us be thankful for the fools.  But for them the rest of us could not succeed.  ~Mark Twain

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.  ~Abraham Lincoln

The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.  ~Will Rogers

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.  ~Douglas Adams

Isn’t it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool’s Day and ends with cries of “May Day!


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