One of my clients, Bruce Dale of Aaron Brothers, a major chain of art and frame stores, wrote in with an excellent example of how one of his employees took care of a customer in the legendary style of Nordstrom’s and Disney.  It is worth sharing.

A lady was in one of Aaron Brothers’ Dallas stores to buy a picture frame. The assistant manager suggested that she frame a particular item in a custom frame. She said no because she had just recently purchased a custom frame (from another frame store, a competitor) and that she was disappointed because after she got it home, it just didn’t look right on her wall.  She said she had chosen the wrong colors and simply did not want to risk making another costly error.  She wanted to just purchase a ready-made frame.

The assistant manager told her that he would like to correct it, even though she had bought it from a competitor, and that he would do that at no charge. She brought it in, they changed the mats to different colors, and she left very pleased.

Within two weeks she brought in four items to be custom framed.  Aaron Brothers had won a customer, with just two pieces of matting and good service.

This has the same lesson as last issue, but with a little something extra.  Once again, it shows that great service is a great way to make a sale.  The “something extra” is to take note of how the Aaron Brothers people are empowered to take care of customers, even if it means giving a little something away.  The cost of the mats was small in comparison to the money the customer spent on framing. 

I suggest reading this story again and sharing it with the people you work with.  It is a powerful example of the importance of empowerment and how service leads to sales.

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email:  Web: For information on customer service training, go to


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