While Mike Carley is comfortable delegating day-to-day decisions to his key managers, he also realizes that at the end of the day, he holds ultimate responsibility for the store’s performance. He needs to stay involved. He notes:

  • “I can hear everything in the showroom from my office. If I hear something that’s not quite right from a customer, I get out of my chair and I’m out there. If the salesmen cue me that a customer’s not happy with the service department, I’ll get in the middle of it. If I hear a customer raise his voice at the parts counter — say we don’t have the right part — I’ll get involved in it. I’ll get in the middle and make sure we turn a negative into a positive.”
  • “I try to instill in everyone here that we can’t have a customer leave unhappy because they might never come back. There are too few farmers to lose any one of them.”
  • “I spend a lot of time in the service and the parts departments making sure of customer satisfaction. I have to make sure that we’re stocking the right parts.
  • “I can say all I want to about how I’m going to take care of the customer, but I’ve got to show him how I’m going to take care of him.”

“Ninety percent of success relates to service. How am I going to provide parts and service to take care of that customer who I just took away from a competitor? We’ve got to put our game face on and really show him that we know what we’re doing here.”