Golden Rules

I attended a great session last week presented by the VP of Customer Satisfaction for L.L. Bean.  We are fortunate to have L.L. Bean here in Maine, as they are one of the best in the world at customer satisfaction.  Personally, I love buying from them, whether through the store, over the phone, or on the web.  And their products are always good!

Great customer satisfaction is in their culture, of course, started by L.L. Bean's famous replacement of defective Bean boots., the first order he ever produced.  But we were told that today L.L. Bean maintains that worldwide reputation with a  focus on having a clear vision, deep knowledge of their customers, an engaged workforce, and a commitment to flawless execution.   L.L. Bean's original Golden Rule started this off:  "Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they'll always come back for more".  Sounds simple, though obviously not easy to do.

This reminded me of a similar "Golden Rule" articulated by my ancestor and namesake, Timothy Hussey (2nd generation leader of the plow business).  He once told my Grandfather Philip, as Philip was starting out in business (in his Quaker tongue): "Philip, when thee agrees to furnish a man with a dollar's worth of goods, just try thy very best to deliver to him a dollar and one cent's worth".

L.L. Bean and T.B. Hussey - two pretty smart Maine guys.