Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Bobby Harris.
About the interviewee
Bobby Harris is President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics. He has led the company from $0 to over $100 MILLION in less than 5 years. The company remains privately held and funded with no debt.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
BlueGrace Logistics is headquartered out of the Tampa Bay area with offices in Chicago, Baltimore and Salt Lake City. We have 49 franchise locations nationally as well. We currently have 180 corporate employees. We work with small to medium sized businesses to help them save time and money on their freight shipping. We also work with large enterprise customers to help them create customized solutions on a large scale to make the overall shipping process easier and with more visibility and accountability.
Tell us about what it means to you to “put customers first”?
I have a strong belief that you put customers 2nd, it sounds like nails on a chalkboard when you first hear it but it actually serves the customers interests. I believe you put your employees first, they are the ones who take care of our treasured clients and if they are well supported and happy then they inevitably will create loyal fans out of our customers.
What mistake do businesses make when it comes to taking care of customers?
I’d reiterate what I said above; in short, take care of the people that take care of the customers. Additionally, I believe there are 2 primary parts to satisfying a client. The first is to give them exactly what they want and that can only be achieved by listening intently and ensuring you know the finite details of what they want. The 2nd part of that is to do with genuine enthusiasm, customers want to know they are dealing with people who care and are a positive force.
What is your firm doing to demonstrate your beliefs in this principle?
Culture and our people are our greatest strength, and that statement isn’t one of idle verbiage, we live it every day. We literally poll every one of our employees every week for feedback and rankings so that we can continually make this a great place for them and to reap the rewards of the insight they have. We also adhere to the fact that a servant based attitude is hired not taught; you can’t take a strong resume with the wrong attitude. We know who is exceeding expectations for our customers and it results in a bright career path for those that genuinely care about our customers.