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“Bob Burg is the greatest teacher of networking in the world ”

~ John Milton Fogg, author, The Greatest Networker in the World

It’s What Makes A Great Company Great

August 6th, 2013 by Bob Burg

Staples That Was EasyWhat makes great companies great? While what they do is certainly important, I believe it’s more than that.

Recently saw the following on my friend, Certified Go-Giver Coach Linda Murnane Ryan‘s Facebook page.

Awesome Customer Service just now from Staples. Received my order and wanted to return the headphones ($20) because they didn’t work with my phone. The nice lady said “I just credited your account $21.39, but rather than send a driver to pick them up, we ask that you kindly donate them to a child or a charity that could use them.” How great is that?!

Great, indeed! What a terrific example of an awesome company!

Sure, these types of examples are written about often. Mark Sanborn would refer to the customer service rep as a “Fred.” Joe Calloway would say they are being the best at what matters most. Dondi Scumaci would see this as a team built on commitment as opposed to compliance.  Scott McKain would site that as an example of how a company can Create Distinction. And, of course, a master on the very topic of customer service, Shep Hyken, would consider it to be part of The Amazement Revolution.

And, you know what? … They’d all be correct.

Here is the key, and something with which I believe we would all agree:

It’s simply who they are. And, because it’s who they are, it’s what they do!

And, that is just one reason why Staples is so special, and so successful.

In other words, it wasn’t about the customer service or the WOW experience. The customer service and Wow experience is simply a part of…them.

And that defines their greatness.

Your thoughts?

13 Responses to “It’s What Makes A Great Company Great”
  1. Tara Rogers said at 8:26 am on

    Great post as always Bob – and really got me thinking about the common link… Think it could possibly be the HUMAN factor – great companies put themselves in the customers’ shoes to truly understand what a customer would want… Kinda what makes a special, memorable, likeable, empathetic person… being able to see something from another’s perspective. I love that!
    Thanks Bob for always planting seeds of possibility, inspiration and motivation. Have a fabulous day!

  2. Bob Burg said at 8:28 am on

    Tara: I LOVE that. Makes a LOT of sense! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insights with us!

  3. Linda Ryan said at 11:13 am on

    Bob, I love how you elaborated on what Staples did and I agree with Tara’s thought, that HUMAN factor that makes all the difference. Reminds me of a quote by someone. And it goes something like this…
    “Do your work. Not just your work and no more, but a little more for the lavishing sake; that little more that’s worth all the rest.” That “little more” that Staples did, was absolutely worth all the rest! Great post!

  4. Bob Burg said at 11:17 am on

    Linda: Thank you for your kind comment. Yes, I think Tara was right on the mark! And, that’s a great quote you cited. Anyone know who said it?

  5. Sean O'Shea said at 11:48 am on

    Thanks for sharing this! We just finished teaching a 5 day dog training/business building seminar in RI where these kinds of business principles are the foundation. Thanks again for the reminder that what we desire/love/appreciate in the businesses we patronize – character, integrity, and humanity – are the same qualities we’re looking for in all of other relationships as well. They’re not business principles, they’re life principles. Treat your customers the same as you would others in your life that you value and care deeply about and watch your business soar! Oh, and of course The Go-Giver is on our recommended reading list. :)

  6. Bob Burg said at 11:54 am on

    Sean: Thank you for your very kind feedback as well as powerful thoughts and insights. Indeed, the qualities you mentioned are what most of us look for in others regardless of whether the relationship is business, personal or both. And, keep touching the lives of those puppies by training their humans. :-)

  7. Sean O'Shea said at 12:51 pm on

    Thanks Bob! Will do my friend. :)

  8. So absolutely True… I LOVE Staples just for that reason, their return policies, and customer service reps are truly awesome. When I have consulted with many companies I have always recommended Staples over other companies for office supplies for that reason they makes returns EASY and their customer service is stellar. Thanks for another great Post…

  9. Lene Jytte Hansen said at 2:14 pm on

    WOW – what a GREAT company policy!!!!! LOVE what they do!!!!! And definately the #HumanTouch – completely down to earth service, GIVING to those in need makes a HUGE difference!!!! It’s what we all want to BE they are doing and delivering WHO THEY ARE that makes the difference here!!!! Even in a “being wrong” situation they understand to make it into a “Every body winns” situation!!! That attitide takes a “BIG PERSON” if you get what I mean? I actually also thought of this in accordance to YOUR ATICLES Bob!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been thinking, “What is it that makes this HUGE difference for ME from your articles???? And it’s EXACTLY this point!!!! You are adding value to so many persons and THEIR skills and THEIR products by providing connecting links to Books, articles others wrote you thought was awesome, videos and interviews!!!! It’s WHO YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!! And I LOVE that!!!!!! THANK’S Bob :)

  10. Doug Wagner said at 5:02 pm on

    I had a similar experience with Staple’s delivery service. Filing cabinet was dented and they offered me choice of them delivering new and taking back damaged one or a discount and keep the old one; but only if I could live with the dent. They’ve realized returns are expensive and come up with a way to make both parties win.

    Profitable for everyone.

    Thanks Bob.

  11. Bob Burg said at 5:49 pm on

    Carly: I find them to be consistently terrific, as well. While I loved reading about Linda’s experience with them, it didn’t surprise me at all!

  12. Bob Burg said at 5:50 pm on

    Lene: WOW – you sure know how to make a person feel great! Thank YOU!

  13. Bob Burg said at 5:51 pm on

    Doug: Yes, it’s great thinking, indeed, and a reason why they are both very loved and very profitable!

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