Today is Good Friday. Are you supposed to say "Happy Good Friday?" Because I don't think you are supposed to be happy on the day you are remembering Jesus being crucified. But, I digress.
By the way, I did write a blog last Friday, but the AGD folks thought "not everyone would think it is humorous." So today, I hope I won't offend.
I watched a couple of movies this week. "Happy Tears" was a waste of two hours of my life. I don't know where I got this movie. And I watched "127 Hours." Now this was a good movie. This was about the hiker kid that got stuck trapped out in the canyons and had to cut his arm off to free himself. The cutting of the arm off was a bit gory, but I thought it was really good. I think I get "The King's Speech" next, and I am really excited about that.
Okay, back to Home Depot. I got a comment from a person that works at the Ritz. The Ritz is something that our staff talks about all the time. Not about its opulence, but about it's service. The Ritz is willing to go to that next level to serve people AND the customers are willing to pay for it.
Here are a couple of things that I have been thinking of for the last couple of days. What is it that Home Depot offers that has us running to them?
For me, it is their return policy. I buy something and I don't need it, no problem. If I open a package and realize it was the wrong thing, no problem. If something breaks or doesn't work like I want it to, no problem. If I break a pot taking it out of my truck, no problem. How about this? If I buy a plant, and after 6 months I kill the plant, no problem. Bring that sucker back for a full refund.
You know why Home Depot can get away with this? They have all the power. They take all those things that you bring back and they push it off to their vendors. They don't even lose money on the deal. The give it to the vendors and they get a full refund. If they vendor doesn't like it, well, tough. I mean we are talking Home Depot here. Why do you think Costco can get away with it? As a vendor, you do NOT want to lose the Home Depot account.
Now, what happens to the mom-and-pop garden center when the plant dies? They know they are competing with Home Depot for this person's business. What really happened? The customer took it home and didn't take care of it, so it died. That would be like someone getting a filling done here. They don't brush it, they eat candy and then, after 5 years, the filling fails. "Uh, Dr. John, are you going to stand behind your work or not?" Uh, no. I am not.
But anyway, the mom-and-pop garden center takes it back and give the customer another plant ,and then eats that plant. They don't have power over the vendor. "Shoot, the mom-and-pop store buys 100 plants from us a month. Home Depot buys 100,000." The vendor laughs at the mom-and-pop store when they try to muscle them.
What about the broken pot? Eaten by the mom-and-pop garden center store. The opened package? Eaten. What if the product breaks? Eaten. At every turn, the mom-and-pop garden center takes a hit.
The thing that mom-and-pop garden center rest their head on is integrity, knowledge and service. And what Home Depot rests their big fat rich head on is price. And each will try the other thing; Home Depot tries real hard to fake service and knowledge. The mom-and-pop garden center will try their hand at lowering their prices but...
I don't think it works out very well either way. Yy friend (the owner of the mom-and-pop garden center) told me he was in Home Depot getting something and he started to help a customer because the Home Depot employee didn't know enough to help them.
I am that mom-and-pop dental office. I don't normally drop my prices, so I would say I have to hang my hat on service. We have to do it well. But what is service?
Having an office that looks good, inside and out. Doing great dentistry that doesn't hurt (because that is what the customer knows). Treating someone that way that you would like to be treated. Calling to confirm. A courtesy call after the appointment to let them know you care. A hand-written note on their anniversary. Things like this. It all, hopefully, keeps people from going to the Home Depot of dentistry. Think about that.
Okay, I would be remiss if I didn't talk about Easter. Today, especially, is a very somber day. I, growing up, didn't fully accept what Jesus had to go through today.
He knew it was going to be bad. He knew he was going to get spit at and punched and kicked and whipped. And He did it willingly.
I am studying Isaiah right now, and it is kind of cool that Isaiah talks about Jesus 400 years before he is born. Isaiah also talks about Good Friday. In Isaiah 52, it talks about how he was beaten "beyond human likeness." But Isaiah 53:5-11 talks about what all this means.
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed... He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter [if you know anything about lambs, they will get sheared and never make a sound and then killed and still never make a sound] and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth [he did it willingly]... Yet the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and through the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many and he will bear their iniquities." [All written 400 years before Jesus was born... pretty cool.}
After today, we look for the empty tomb, because HE is risen. Conquering death and opening up the gates of heaven (really being our intercessor so we can hang with God).
He is risen. He is risen indeed.
Have a great weekend. Happy Easter.