Over the holiday break I was sent an email which had a picture (or a jpg) attached to it, which stated: “I have declared January a ‘free trial’ month for the year — and now I am going to pay for the rest.”
Both funny and apt as January regularly speeds by at rates not experienced through the rest of the year — the winter months being a particular case in point.
Over the summer break I lost weight, got fitter and gave new life to my personal plan. I followed the instructions of a mentor to completely switch off emails, and while I was still available for clients and did a little bit of work over the two weeks away, this worked well.
But while you are away the wheels of business keep turning, and I experienced some outstanding examples of Whanganui businesses doing great things.
The first was the service and excitement provided by Whanganui Scenic Experience Jet and its jetboat tour of the Whanganui River.
We were joined by friends from Motueka, who found it a real highlight of a tour of the entire North Island. And I totally agree.
Business owners Claire and Mark Wickham have developed a truly memorable experience, whizzing around the water and seeing first-hand the prehistoric wonder of the river, and allowing you to stop and explore the natural beauty of our greatest natural feature.
It is an experience that has you thinking about coming back and doing a more extensive tour (for example, up to the Bridge to Nowhere).
This was a business that was successful in the 2016 Chamber of Commerce business awards.
The second example of a great Whanganui business was one where the customer service was above and beyond.
We have all had appliances and tools that either don’t perform or fail spectacularly. For the Bells, 2017 followed a pattern set when our water pump failed on Christmas Eve 2015. This time it was our washing machine, which died on New Year’s Eve, and so I reached out to Pahia and Njela Turia of Appliance Repair Care.
Given that New Year’s Eve fell on a Saturday, my expectation was that they could arrange a temporary machine the following Wednesday.
But true to the high levels of service and care which others who worked with them have talked about, we had a temporary machine delivered on the Saturday by the owners themselves. A crisis averted and expectations exceeded.
The third, and by no means last, example was last weekend, provided by John Bartley and the team at Stihl Shop.
While away on holiday we got to experience a Weber barbecue and, our old one being a bit long in the tooth, decided to check out the range.
The sale of a replacement to us was a given, but what wasn’t was them letting me take the display model (because my ability to self-assemble is non-existent).
They also really know their product so I was confident that we were making the right choice, and having it delivered Saturday morning was really appreciated.
Three businesses doing great things, but the key is that they exceeded expectations.