Tag Archives: Quality Sensors Quality Management

Taking It On The Road!

Similar to last week’s post, we’re still looking for exceptional companies to highlight. The responses have been fabulous so far, so we’re extending the invitation to keep nominating the very best. In particular, we are interested in hearing about your favourite businesses that are outside of Toronto and especially in other countries around the world.

Please tell us about your favourite:

  • Pizza place
  • Restaurant
  • Brunch spot
  • Retailer
  • Local merchant (small business)
  • Tourism destination
  • Hotel/resort
  • Clothing store
  • Grocery store
  • And any hidden gems that you are willing to share!

In addition to the name of the business, we’d also like to know why you’re nominating them. Did you have a memorable experience there? Did they go above and beyond the call of customer service duty? We’d like to know!

Please email your favourites to: davidL@sqm.ca

In the weeks ahead, we will share your suggestions and recommendations, and rest assured you will be mentioned in any blogs that feature the business.

Thanks again for all of your wonderful comments and for reading SQM Picks. Your insight has been a great help in helping SQM define what true customer service means.

 

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I Can See Customer Service Clearly Now!

For many years, I’ve been buying my glasses from a local eyewear store, Universal Optical. It’s located at Lawrence Plaza, on the northwest corner of Bathurst and Lawrence. Although I wrote about Universal Optical in the early days of SQM Picks, after recently visiting the store I thought it would be appropriate to highlight this business once again.

The owner of the business is a gentleman named Mayer. Mayer is all about customer service. He provides customers with the best product for their needs and at the lowest possible price, while still making a living. He’s got an extensive selection of eyewear and contact lenses, but as with most healthcare professionals, it really boils down to the amount of attention and care that he provides to anyone who walks through the door.

Care can be demonstrated in two ways. One is the way in which you treat people from a health standpoint. As an example of this, when I sent my dad in to get new glasses, the optometrist did a vision test and realized his prescription had changed, but also discovered that he had cataracts. Before the optometrist made new glasses, she wanted my dad to take care of the other issues first. The optometrist could have very easily just made the glasses, then have them remade, but she was willing to take that extra step for the benefit of my dad’s ocular health.

From the customer service point of view, the folks at Universal are always willing to go the extra mile. As an example, a couple weeks ago I dropped by the store because the lens from my sunglasses popped out. I didn’t even buy them from Universal Optical, but Mayer took the glasses, popped the lens back in, adjusted the sunglasses so they would fit me properly, cleaned the glasses, and gave me a new, protective case. He did all of this without charging me, and refused to even take a couple of dollars to buy himself a coffee! Of course, the reason he did this was because he’s a businessman who thinks in the long-term. Yes, he didn’t make any money spending two minutes to fix and clean my glasses, but he knows I’ll come back to him when I need a new pair, and will certainly recommend him to friends and family.

In a day and age where consumers often forget about the small businesses, Universal Optical is the perfect example of why you should still support your local businesses and the great service that many of them provide.

Universal Optical
www.universaloptical.ca
416-780-9112

 

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A Party Down in Pittsburgh

As often as I can, I try to get out of town on long weekends and the recent Victoria Day long weekend was no exception. In fact, this time I turned the three day weekend into a five-day road trip and took my wife and daughter to Pittsburgh.

I haven’t been to Pittsburgh in about 25 years, but remember enjoying my last visit. Initially, we were only going to stay a day or two, go to visit Fallingwater and the Hershey factory, when I realized that Hershey was about three and a half hours in the opposite direction. So we changed our itinerary. It turns out that we had no problem finding tons of things to see and do in Pittsburgh! The city is very vibrant, home to many innovative companies, products and services, has truly fantastic restaurants and plenty of sporting events for the athletic enthusiast. I can honestly say that one out of every four people in Pittsburgh were decked out in black and yellow in an ode to the Pirates, Penguins or their beloved Steelers. This is a city that wears their love of the game on their sleeve…where everyone can see it!

Pittsburgh is a tourist friendly city! When we were trying to find a specific area of a large cemetery, to avoid having us get lost, the groundskeeper gave us an escort over to the exact location… in his cart. The next day, we stopped to ask a police officer how to find the Duquesne Brewery Clock (the largest single face clock in the world – two times the size of Big Ben!). Moments later, we found ourselves with a police escort right to its location!

Over our four day visit, some of our favourite sites included the Heinz Center, the Strip District, Randyland, and Fallingwater.

Of course, during our days of sightseeing we needed energy and found no shortage of great restaurants. For lunch and dinner, whether it was Primanti Bros., an Argentinian steakhouse, or some fun and whimsical donuts at Peace, Love and Little Donuts, you could simply eat your way through the city and walk away a happy camper.

Sports fans, don’t look any further than Pittsburgh, which has an NFL, NHL, and a major league baseball team. During my trip, the Pittsburgh Pirates were in town, and while they weren’t successful on the field, the ballpark was beautiful to see and it was a beautiful spring night for baseball.

Lastly, I have to mention a one-day excursion down to Fallingwater. Built by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this beautiful country home is about 1.5 hours away from Pittsburgh. It is a a gorgeous drive and should not be missed.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll highlight a few of the places on my trip, but needless to say, if you’re up for a fun and adventurous road trip, Pittsburgh should be next on your list!

 

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The Running Room: A Company Running with Great Customer Service!

People Cheering for the Running Room at an event

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written about some of the challenges facing the retail industry, and highlighted some retailers that are changing the way they do business. Recently, I’ve come across another company that really seems to capture the essence of customer service, as it clearly comes from the top down.

As anyone who knows me well can tell you, I really have a difficult time finding shoes that fit me. While I’ve frequently gone to The Running Room for my daughter’s shoes, I never seem to find anything that works for me, so an employee suggested I go online for a wider variety of their shoes. They told me that there are no shipping fees or returns fees involved.

I thought I’d take a shot at it and (of course) immediately ran into an obstacle when the one pair of shoes I really liked were not available in my size. They had every other size except mine! Throwing up my hands in frustration, I decided to put The Running Room to the test and I contacted their head office. Their head office phone number is answered by a recorded greeting of their founder, John Stanton, and includes an option of hitting a button to speak directly to John. I wasn’t expecting to speak to someone, but to my surprise, he immediately answered.

I had a lovely chat with John, told him my problem, and without hesitation he offered to find someone to help me and said I would get a call back in just a few minutes. Not fifteen minutes later, one of John’s colleagues called me up, asked me some questions about my needs, did some research, and found me some options for shoes that would work for me.

While I was given the option of picking the shoes up from the store, it was easier to have them delivered to my house and within a few days, I had a pair of shoes that fit and easily returned the others that I chose not to keep.

It’s rare to find a company that goes above and beyond to keep customers happy, and it’s even more rare to have a President who is as accessible as John is (answering his own phone). Clearly, The Running Room gets it. Thanks to John and his team, I now have a pair of running shoes that fit my needs….and my feet!

The Running Room
1-800-419-2906
https://www.runningroom.com/hm/

 

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Happy Holidays from SQM!

Happy Holidays from the Team at SQM.

With the upcoming holidays, this will be my last blog of the year, before returning in early January.

After another busy and hectic year at SQM, I want to thank all of our office staff and field force for a job well done. In addition, I also would like to also thank the many suppliers to SQM, for their role in our company’s success. Finally, I would like to extend my appreciation and thanks to all of our clients for their business and support.

Although personally and through SQM I support a number of charitable causes on an ongoing basis, it seems as if more people tend to think about those in need around the holiday season. On that note, I’d like to mention one particular cause that could always use more support and donations.

Toronto based, Ve’ahavta, offers a number of programs, but one in particular involves providing the homeless with meals, clothing, and other necessities. While many people frequently donate warm winter clothes, to help people in need, I’ve recently learned that there are certain items that are often overlooked, such as new pairs of socks and new (unopened) underwear.

People need clean socks and underwear on a daily basis, so should you ever find yourself wanting to help the less fortunate, wherever you are around the world, please keep these items in mind. It only takes a few minutes and a few dollars to make a real, tangible difference.

Alternatively, as in past years, if you would like to send any new items or gift cards to the SQM office, we would be happy to collect / purchase the items and deliver them to the organization.

On behalf of myself, my family, and the SQM team, I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a safe and enjoyable holiday season and my best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018!

 

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New Feet With Comfort Zone

Back a few years ago, I was going to a bachelor party for someone who was younger than me.  Usually a bachelor party consists of drinks, dinner, and partying until the next sunrise, but that was not the case. The dinner was at a nice steak restaurant and then after the dinner we had the option to go get a foot massage at a place known as the Comfort Zone, located in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

At the time, I opted not to go for a foot massage, as I thought it sounded a little sketchy, and an odd thing to do for a bachelor party, however, several months later, I was having problems with my feet, did some research, and decided to throw caution to the wind, and check the place out, one afternoon.

Comfort Zone is a Chinese oriented salon where the staff are trained therapists, reflexologist, or acupuncturists. They may not speak much English but are knowledgeable on Chinese massage techniques. There usual pricing is $39.00 dollars for a 45 minute massage, however, it is $32.00 before 7 pm, most days. They also have volume discounts if you purchase multiple massages in advance.

Once I arrived, I was offered a beverage and seated in a room with a big screen television and WIFI. I was told to take off my shoes and socks and roll up my pants. I was then given a big bucket of hot water and told to soak my feet for a while. This was relaxing on its own, and then after about ten minutes, I was given a 45 minute foot massage. Before my massage, I had explained to the masseuse what my problem was and asked them to press a little hard, knowing…no pain, no gain, and they were very accommodating as to pressure and areas to focus on. During the process, I noticed that the knots or stress in my feet were feeling soft and revitalized. When my massage was finished, it was almost like I was given a new pair of feet, and walked out of place like I was walking on a cloud.

Since that first time, I have managed to convince my wife and a few friends to give it a try, and everyone who comes with me, thoroughly enjoys the experience and continues to come back. My wife says, “It’s like having two new feet”. In fact, it is now at the point where a number of us make an evening out of it, with six or seven of us going for a foot massage, followed by dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area.

If you have an active lifestyle, stand on your feet for long periods of time, or simply to celebrate a special event, this is definitely a place to visit.

They have three shops located in Markham and Richmond Hill, however, I consistently go to the location on 324 Highway #7. To book an appointment or for more information call 905-882-9822.

Enjoy your new feet!

 

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