Hi, I’m Paul Darley, and thanks for tuning in to our February issue of “Inside Darley.”
You know, if you went to business school, you would have learned that businesses and organizations go through different cycles and business life cycles. And we as a business are certainly going through one of those right now. You know, 30 to 40 years ago, we hired a lot of people, and a lot of those folks are now retiring. In fact, just this month, we’ve had six folks retire. Tony Rodriguez, Panaco Phillip, Jack Moore, Lairy Normand, Bill Alm and Dennis Elliston. All in 2023. And if you can imagine, those folks represent over 175 years of incredible customer service to you.
But at the same time, we’re adding a lot of great new talent, and that includes Scott Vavra, our new customer service manager up at Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, attached a press release on him. And I’ll tell you, if you’re interested in joining Team Darley, I’d encourage you to go to Darley.com and go to our section, Why Do We Do It? And under there you’ll see a list of careers that we have available.
If you also went to business school today, perhaps Harvard Business School, they would tell you on the first day of school, businesses today, or really any organization needs to focus on one of three core disciplines. You need to be the innovator, kind of like an Apple or a Tesla. You need to be operationally efficient, like Amazon, perhaps, or you need to be customer intimate, like maybe a Nordstrom or Lexis or dare I say, Darley. You know? And I think you’ve got to be all three of those things, but maybe lead in one. And we certainly lead in customer service. So I look at innovation as a business. In 2022, roughly 50% of our over $500 million with the sales were for products that we never sold prior to 2022, if you can imagine.
And on the operationally efficient end, I think we’re pretty good there. In fact, we’ve got the longest pump warranty in the market now – ten years. We’ve attached a copy of that for you here. We built close to 5000 pumps, and yet the number of warranty claims out of our fire pump division in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin was only 41. And I think we covered about 95% of those with warranty claims, even if they were kind of questionable. So we always try to err on the side of the customer with that. That really leads us to customer intimacy, and I think that’s really where we excel, and that’s really a hallmark of Darley.
And in fact, we recently sent out a customer survey to our pump customers, and one of the questions that we asked was, “would you recommend us to a friend?” On a scale of one to ten, how likely would you be? And that’s called a Net Promoter Score NPS rating, and it goes from 100 to -100, and thank you to you, our customers. You gave us a score of 80, which by definition is actually a world class rating. Less than 1% of all companies and organizations receive an 80 or score or higher. So thank you so much for that vote of confidence.
We’ve attached a few articles here for you on customer service, if you’re looking to try to include that more heavily into your organization. The first is a Forbes article that just came out called Eight Tips for Providing Excellent Customer Service. The second is a book summary called Exceeding Customer Expectations. It’s about when Warren Buffett bought Enterprise Car Rental, and what happened after that. And the third would be my book, SOLD – the Art of Relationship Sales. And if you’re interested in a hard copy of that, by the way, you can get it at darley.com or Amazon. I’d be happy to inscribe it for you.
You know, we invite you to visit our factories and in fact, our next Pump school is going to be held in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, May 8 through the 10th. We’ve attached some information and application and information below for you.
So thanks for tuning into this issue of Inside Darley. If there’s anything we can be doing to assist you, we hope you’ll reach out to us.
Press release: Scott Vavra joins Darley
Forbes article: Eight Tips for Providing Excellent Customer Service.
Book summary: Exceeding Customer Expectations.
My book: SOLD – the Art of Relationship Sales.
Darley 10-Year Pump Warranty
Pump School Registration Form – May 2023
Pump School Registration Form – October 2023