“Customer Service”, let me tell you about Big Charlies Gun and Jewelry.
A tough name for a really tough looking guy. He doesn’t have a website and he doesn’t seem to advertise but if you google him he seems to come up all over the place.
He’s a big scary guy who must bend the scales at over 300lbs and wears twin shoulder holstered .45’s.
He has a burly gray beard and wears a jewelers visor and jewelers glasses cocked in the up position. They are the kind that look a little like military night scopes — only something more steam punk retro from the 40’s.
Befittingly, He sells and fixes guns and jewelry. Yea I see the relationship. I guess if you have a lot of jewelry you might want a gun too.
When you first arrive at his store, you’re faced with and must traverse through a series of security obstacles that make you doubt the reason that you’re there in the first place.
There’s a buzzer you push to announce that you’re there, the door buzzes and he allows you to enter a small thickly barred holding cell inspected by multiple security cameras. Only after the door locks shut behind you, and what seems like a 5 minute delay, he buzzes a second door which allows you to enter.
The first thing you hear is a barking dog, the first thing you see is a sign with “WARNING, Guard dog on duty”. Although the picture on the sign is a German Shepard the dog is luckily a small one. However, his attitude could make you doubt that relief brought by his size. I bet his huge attitude would chase away any pit bull twice his size.
There are stacks of boxes and crates piled to the ceiling with all types of rifles and equipment. Once you enter you still don’t know where to go, you simply walk out of the cage because the door opened. You feel like you were just freed from a holding cell… because you were just freed from a holding cell.
Confused, I decided it best not to take a step without some sort of permission. The first thing I yelled was, “can I come in”? and all I heard from the back was, ” I wouldn’t have let you in if I didn’t want you to come in”!
I walked towards his voice with the feeling that I should raise my hands over my head, announcing my arrival.
“I’m coming in, where are you?”, A gruff voice mumbled out from the back,”over here, keep commin”.
Big Charlie has plenty of attitude and no complaint department. If you ever think of negotiating a price I’d think twice. Big Charlie has been a gun smith for the past 47 years. One of the best in the business.
Although his customer service is so contrary to what all the text books have published, he’s always working on something. If you want him to do something you will have a great job done but you’re going to have to wait five months.
He only accepts cash or gold — no credit cards, checks or any of that kind of nonsense. His store hours are from 2PM until 5PM, Monday through Friday.
That’s right, just 3 hours a day. Sometimes if you’re lucky you can catch him on a Saturday, but you have to call ahead.
When he agrees to take on a job from you, you almost feel like you just won something. It’s the kind of customer experience you can never forget, but it’s so unique that you just have to laugh and keep coming back.
I guess the motto of the story is that if you perform a great service people will keep coming back.
I can’t say he’s the most successful guy in the world but all I know is that he does good work for a fair price. Maybe if he did everything right he would be managing people instead of working on his craft.
He’d be updating his website, doing his payroll, calling people for money owed, collecting bad checks. Maybe he’s just doing what he likes and is happy with what he has.
Just so you know, I didn’t write this because there is a reason or moral to this story. It was just an experience I had and wanted to share.
But since this is our blog and we do this for business I want to mention our customer service. We always answer the phone, never make you wait in a holding cell. We’re open 6 days a week and Sunday too if you need something, we accept all types of credit cards, checks and even barter in some cases. And we don’t have a guard dog.
When you work with us you will be working with an owner of the business not a hired account rep. We do great work too, check it out for yourself here. We work with you as your team and build you a website that will bring your individual business success.
Your Success is Our Success !
Have a great day and enjoy what you’re doing.