Winning Customer Service Tips Series: Part 2 of 2

We selected 10 customer service tips (shared in a series of 2 articles) to celebrate Ace’s decade of ranking “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores,” according to J.D. Power.*

Try these award-winning tips from successful entrepreneurs and executives at Ace who speak from success about how to develop a culture that amazes every customer every time:

1) Have a small business mindset. Big business routinely leads to bureaucracy which shackles people. Small business is informal, and informality unleashes inventiveness.
John Venhuizen, President and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation
2) Trust your team to learn from their mistakes. To earn customers trust, establish a trusting relationship with your employees and colleagues.
Tom Knox, President and CEP, Westlake Ace Hardware
3) Be part of something bigger than yourself. Find a cause that’s important to support and inspire your team and your customers to become part of it.
Lou Manfredini, Ace’s Home Expert and Store Owner
4) Adapt and differentiate. If we stuck with the conventional wisdom, we’d have missed opening what is now our fastest growing store in the chain. To be where our customers are, we’ve had to embrace unconventional locations, spaces and offerings.
Gina Schaefer, Owner, A Few Cool Hardware Stores
5) To be the best place to do business with, you have to be the best place to work for. If you want employees to care, recognize good behavior, share your vision, make sure your team knows how important they are.

Art Freedman, Ace Retailer and Author

*Ace Hardware received the highest numerical score among retail stores in the proprietary J.D. Power 2016 Home Improvement Retail Store StudySM. Study based on responses from 2,995 consumers measuring six stores and opinions of consumers who purchased a home improvement product or service within the previous 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed January-February 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Winning Customer Service Tips Series: Part 2 of 2

Winning Customer Service Tips Series: Part 1 of 2

For the 10th year in a row, Ace Hardware has ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Retail Stores,” according to J.D. Power.* To celebrate, we’re sharing 10 of our Ace Center for Excellence speakers’ customer service tips in a two- part series. Here are the first five:

1) Define your business purpose in a meaningful way. Ask yourself what your business stands for beyond making money, and galvanize your team around that idea or initiative. People want to be about something more than money.
John Venhuizen, President and CEO, Ace Hardware Corp.

2) Focus on the customer, not the money. Stop trying to get what you want and focus on helping your customers get what they want.
Tom Knox, President and CEO – Westlake Ace Hardware

3) Be a committed learner. Ask your customers and your team for feedback.
Lou Manfredini, Ace’s Home Expert and Ace Retailer – 2-store chain

4) Be easy to do business with. If you have policies that don’t make things easier for the customer, rethink them.
Gina Schaefer, Ace Retailer – 11-Store Chain

5) One to say yes, two to say no. Create a rule that your staff members can’t say “no’ to a customer’s question without double checking with at least 1 other person.
Art Freedman, Ace Retailer and Author

*Ace Hardware received the highest numerical score among retail stores in the proprietary J.D. Power 2016 Home Improvement Retail Store StudySM. Study based on responses from 2,995 consumers measuring six stores and opinions of consumers who purchased a home improvement product or service within the previous 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed January-February 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Winning Customer Service Tips Series: Part 1 of 2

Ace Hardware Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power Ten Years in a Row

OAK BROOK, Ill., June 7, 2016 – The J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Home Improvement Retailer Store Satisfaction StudySM ranked Ace Hardware “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Home Improvement Retail Stores” for the tenth year in a row. Ace has captured this ranking every year since J. D. Power began surveying the home improvement industry ten years ago.

The J.D. Power study is based on responses from nearly 2,995 consumers who purchased home improvement products or services in the previous 12 months. Ace Hardware ranked highest among major retailers with an overall satisfaction index score of 810 on a 1,000-point scale. According to consumers, Ace performs particularly well in the categories of staff and service, as well as store facility.

The score is based on performance in five areas: merchandise, price, sales and promotions, staff and service, and store facility.

“Given the impressive list of retailers with which we compete, in no way do we take our tenth consecutive J.D. Power award for granted,” said John Venhuizen, President and CEO, Ace Hardware Corporation. “My grateful and sincere thanks goes to the consumers who have honored us with this award, the Ace team who never ceases to amaze me and most importantly, our frontline, red-vested heroes who so passionately serve our customers.”

In 2015, Ace Hardware launched the Ace Center for Excellence, a division created to help businesses and organizations around the world improve upon their customer experience utilizing Ace’s award winning approach. Through keynotes and workshops, the Ace Center for Excellence shares the strategies and principles that help leaders cultivate, and team members to contribute to, a culture of customer service that exceeds the consumer’s evolving expectations of helpfulness. For more information, visit www.acecenterforexcellence.com.

About Ace Hardware
For more than 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across America, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. In 2016, Ace ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Ten Years in a Row,” according to J.D. Power. With more than 4,800 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries currently operate 17 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Ningbo, China; Colon, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers’ stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit www.acehardware.com.

Disclaimer: Ace Hardware received the highest numerical score among retail stores in the proprietary J.D. Power 2016 Home Improvement Retail Store StudySM. Study based on responses from 2,995 consumers measuring six stores and opinions of consumers who purchased a home improvement product or service within the previous 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed January-February 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com

Media Contact:
Anna Wyrwas
630-990-2065
awyrw@acehardware.com

Posted in General | Comments Off on Ace Hardware Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power Ten Years in a Row

Ace Hardware Celebrates its Local Entrepreneurs and Their 2015 Accomplishments

Ace Center for ExcellenceOAK BROOK, Ill., Dec. 30, 2015 – Ace Hardware Corporation, the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world, could not be more proud of its locally owned retailers and the impressive number of awards and accolades they received in 2015. These small business owners continue to advance Ace Hardware as a globally trusted, locally embraced brand.

Outlined below are highlights of the awards and rankings Ace Hardware received across the industry in 2015.

  • Ace ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Nine Years in a Row,” according to J.D. Power*
  • Ace ranked No. 2 on CareerBliss’ list of “happiest retailers to work for in 2015”
  • Ace ranked No. 24 on the National Retail Federation’s STORES Magazine’s Hot 100 List, ranking the nation’s fastest-growing retailers by year-over-year domestic sales growth
  • Ace ranked No. 6 on the Franchise Times Top 200 List, ranking the fastest-growing franchise opportunities in the nation
  • Ace was named “America’s Favorite Home Improvement Store” by a Market Force study
  • Ace Hardware ranked No. 3 in a customer survey by RetailCustomerExperience.com, outpacing all other home improvement stores

Click here to view the full press release.

Looking forward to 2016 and all that the Ace team will accomplish together. Happy New Year!

Posted in General | Comments Off on Ace Hardware Celebrates its Local Entrepreneurs and Their 2015 Accomplishments

The CEO OF Ace® Hardware on Leadership

THE CEO OF ACE® HARDWARE ON LEADERSHIP

John Venhuizen, CEO of Ace Hardware, was recently interviewed by Dan Rockwell on the topic of Leadership. The interview was included on Dan’s blog called “Leadership Freak”. Below is the introduction to the post.

“I asked the CEO of the largest home improvement franchise company in the world, Ace Hardware, what others saw in him as a leader. He started talking about definitions.

Three Definitions of Leadership:
1. Leaders take people where they could not go on their own.
2. “Leaders rally people toward a better future.” Marcus Buckingham
3. Leaders galvanize people to want to do what must be done.

Leaders instigate forward-facing movement. You have to go somewhere to lead. You aren’t just taking a walk.”

Click here to read the full article and hear John’s own words.

 

Posted in General | Comments Off on The CEO OF Ace® Hardware on Leadership