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The Curious Case of Carlos the Locksmith


by Glenn Shepard
August 1, 2017
Category: Excellence


Frankfort, KY

Aug 15

Elizabethtown, KY

Aug 16

Portland, TN Aug 29

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78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.
Source: American Express Survey


Voting for the 2017 Glenn Shepard Excellence in Leadership Award is now open. Click here for submission guidelines or to see previous winners.

What aggravates you more?

1. People who are incompetent at what they do.

2. People who are good at what they do, but are so unprofessional that you wonder why they even bother.

For me, it's the latter.

While I hate incompetence, I donít get mad at the individual employee for not knowing what they don't know. I get mad at their employer, because businesses are responsible for adequately training their employees.

Being unprofessional annoys me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more, because it tells me that while someone might know WHAT they're doing, they donít care about HOW they do it, or how they're perceived by the customer.

As we approached the end of the 7-month renovation of the new Casa De Shepard, I realized I had forgotten to have the locks rekeyed.

I've used three locksmiths in the 32 years I've lived in Nashville. Even though each one did their jobs just fine, I couldnít remember any of their names. So I went to Angie's List, and chose "Carlos the Locksmith".

I wasn't expecting much Ė just for someone to return my call, and show up when they say they're going to (both of which seem to be too much to expect from so many people these days).

But when I called Carlos last Friday morning, a curious thing happened...

He made me WANT to do business with him, and it had nothing to do with WHAT he did as a locksmith. It was HOW he went about doing it.

As soon as he answered the phone, he THANKED me for choosing him (one of my BIG three pet peeves is people who are ungrateful), and assured me he'd take good care of us. Then he said he'd give us a 5% discount for mentioning Angie's list.

After I texted him the address, he responded to my text, confirmed that he'd be at Casa De Shepard between 9:00 and 10:00 am Monday, and that he'd text me on Monday when he was on his way.

He texted on Monday morning as promised. I was on my way to Ohio, but called my Beautiful Bride to let her know he was en route.

As soon as he arrived, he handed her his state license.

I wasn't worried about a stranger entering our home while my Beautiful Bride was there alone, but itís something Iím always cognizant of. The fact that the first thing Carlos did was put his customer at ease with this document told me heís thought about every detail of how to make his customersí experience as positive as possible.

After rekeying the locks, he put the new keys on one keyring, and the old ones on another. A tiny detail, but I bet customers get the new keys and the old ones mixed up all the time. (I would have probably done that myself).

After he left, he texted me a thank you. And it included a link to review him on Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau.

This is BRILLIANT for two reasons.

First, because testimonials are priceless. People believe what others say about you more than what you say about yourself.

Second, because the average person will go for years between times when they need a locksmith. By being so good at what he does, AND how he does it, Carlos made sure that weíll remember him the next time we need a locksmith.

To Your Success,

Glenn Shepard

 Just as hard skills must be taught, so must soft skills like professionalism. Carlos had his son with him when he came out. I donít know if he'll follow in his Dad's footsteps. But whatever that young man does with his life, I bet he'll do it so professionally that people will want to do business with him too.

P.S.S. No surprise that Carlos has 179 Google reviews, and theyíre all 5 stars. If you want to see marketing for a small business done extremely well, go to his website at


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