Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Customer Service in Small Town USA

 Customer Service in Small Town, USA


Shortly after moving into our new home, the air conditioner went out. The unit was running… it simply wasn’t cooling. 

We called one place we found online, but the person never arrived. We called a local company called Airfix. The woman accepting calls late at night walked us through a few steps we could take. She knew the system and was able to tell Mike where he could access the drain. He hooked up his shop vac and although we decided we still needed service on the unit, we were comfortable enough to sleep through the night.


Troy’s, a landscape company arrived on time when we needed some work done in the backyard. Troy was professional with the work he did and fair with his pricing. And Ray, a handyman we found through our local ACE Hardware store did excellent work repairing our deck. He, too, arrived on time and was fair with the charges. 


The folks at Airfix…and Troy and Ray are more than good at the work they do. They are good people. 


Moving to a small town on Florida’s Nature Coast from the busy Tampa Bay area has been a blessing. Don’t misunderstand. There are good people in bustling Hillsborough County, but it’s a huge region!


Here? Here they are your neighbors. 

Troy’s Landscaping is just down the road. Ray fishes in our lake. We pass the Airfix building every time we head to Walmart.


The Historic Courthouse
in Our Town

And it continues. We wanted to add a few feet to Mike’s shop. We put in for a permit to make it bigger. Our permit was denied, stating we had to have a “storm water mitigation plan.” It would add twenty five hundred dollars ($2500.00) to our $500 permit cost. The woman from the permit office told us to call the surveyor who did the initial work on our property and they could give us more information. 


The surveyor is part of a local business. 

We called. I explained our dilemma. A man named Mark understood. Yes, it is $2500 to survey and write up a storm water plan. It could cost much more to fix everything in the plan. He talked of rain barrels and such. He lives in the area. He used to work in the permitting office. 


We described our property and as we talked, he learned our “new shop” was only 450 square feet larger than the other one. 


“You know,” Mark said, “I’m pretty sure that unless they’ve changed things, there is a 500 square foot exemption. If you aren’t adding more than 500 square feet, you don’t need the storm water mitigation plan.” He sent an email to the permit office and copied us on it within minutes of our call.


Some people balk at living in a small town. We aren’t among them. From the people we meet on the streets and in restaurants to the small business owners and those working in the county and city offices, people in our town put a face on the label “Customer Service.”


It is being available.

It is being a good listener.

It is being honest.

It is being on time.

Good Customer Service is looking out for what is best for the customer.

My rating of Small Town, USA?

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