How to use a Yak to wow your customers
A while ago, I met Rick Henry through my interactions with some of the local business owners in Newmarket. Rick is one of those guys who has an amazing business working with some of the newest technology as it prepares to go to market and yet he has somehow been able to remain incredibly humble about his success. Some of the stories that Rick told me about his business, I just couldn't resist telling, so I thought I'd re-tell it here.
EB: Rick, thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed for this. I am so in love with your story and your successes and I wanted the chance to share them on our blog. Can you tell me first though, a little about your company and what you guys do?
RH: We are basically a value added distributor of smart-leading edge consumer electronics in the Canadian marketplace. We are not in the commodity space - instead we introduce new, leading edge products first to market. For example - the FitBit in Canada? That was us - no one had one or knew what they were but we helped them get into market here.
EB: That's amazing - everyone has a FitBit now! So at Microcel, what kinds of careers are there for people? What kinds of skills do they need?
RH: We have a range of careers from marketing, to IT, to warehousing and accounting. We are especially looking for an experienced Warehouse Manager right now. For us, a cultural fit is really important - you spend more time with people at the office than at home and so we want to have great collaboration among team members. We embrace people who can deal with change in a positive way. In our business, we are always moving and changing. We strive for real work-life balance. Ya, you come to work and you give it your all but then we want to make sure all our staff can go home, fully re-charge their batteries and come back the next day at 100%. No-one wants their job to deplete them so that by Friday they only operate at 65%.
EB: In the past, we chatted about how important customer service was to you guys. When we met awhile ago and you told me an amazing story of customer service that included your products travelling via Yak - can you share that with our readers?
RH: Ya- there's actually an entire blog post that the person we delivered the solar panel to wrote! But, basically, we got a tweet from somebody who was up on Mount Everest - they had one of our battery packs, which is powered by a solar panel. The solar panel went defective on them. They needed it to power their radios and so they were looking for a solution to fix it. They found us on Twitter- and tweeted us the problem. We got in touch with our client who made the panels, explained what was going on and then together we arranged to fly it in to Kathmandu, Nepal. It then had to go on an even smaller plane to be delivered to Lukla which is the most dangerous runway in the world.. From there, it was strapped to a Yak and a lovely Sherpa couple hiked up to where the team climbing Everest was and gave them the new solar panel so they could be powered up.
EB: I'm so amazed - I can't believe you guys went to those lengths to accommodate a customer and what a cool story!
RH: The interesting thing is - months before this happened, we began to talk about our "Sherpa guide" approach to business. We work with brands to develop new product presence in the market. We did FitBit, so as they were coming into Canada, we made sure they had everything they needed to succeed in the market including merchandising and a strategy. But just as important for brand new technologies is being able to be that "Sherpa" to help them out of the market (or off the mountain) again, if things aren't quite going the way we wanted. A good example is the first time we launched Internet of Things products in Canada. We thought customers were ready - but this was a few years ago, and no one was quite sure yet what to do with these tools. So we helped our IOT companies get out of the market, re-think the approach and the tools and make them ready for the next mountain.
EB: Are you hiring?
RH: We currently are hiring for a Warehouse Manager - someone who is dynamic, has some experience but as I mentioned above - is good with change and logistics.
EB: As you can see, Rick has a pretty amazing story and it's not just me who thinks so. Check out the recipient of this extraordinary act of customer service here: https://eliasaikaly.com/a-yak-a-solar-panel-and-incredible-customer-service-at-16-000ft/