Joe Dickey’s turkey of a tale illustrates the customer-first mindset of successful small businesses

Power outages don’t only happen Monday through Friday from 8 to 5. As any small business would attest, particularly in the service industry, sometimes the phone rings after hours.

As we mark Small Business Saturday two days after Thanksgiving, it’s an ideal time to revisit an anecdote shared by “Joe” Dickey Electric founder, Joe Dickey, Jr. And while this particular story is about Dickey Electric, it illustrates the customer-first philosophy of all of NECA-IBEW Electricians’ member contractors.

NECA thanksgiving message Dickey remembers a time in his company’s early days when he and his young family had just gathered around the table for Thanksgiving dinner. A customer called his house in a panic.

“He said ‘Joe, I’m in a heck of a shape,” Dickey recalled. “My oven just quit and my wife can’t finish the turkey. I said, ‘I’ll be right there.’ My wife looked at me, like “Really?” And I said, ‘Yeah.’”

Dickey’s son Dave, age 4 or 5 at the time, jumped in the truck and headed to Columbiana with his dad to see what they could do. After a quick check, Joe was able to get the oven working long enough to finish cooking the holiday meal.

Such is the way of life for Joe Dickey and how he built a successful electrical contracting business.

Customer service can make or break a small business. A survey conducted by American Express found that two out of three customers said they are willing to spend more with businesses where they have experienced a positive service interaction.

The survey stresses the importance of delivering service on the customer’s timeline. As companies improve the service they provide, customers want them to focus on taking care of their needs quickly. The future of service belongs to those who deliver fast, personalized and convenient customer service.

Although the Dickey family’s Thanksgiving meal had to wait, Joe recognized the importance of quickly responding to his customer’s needs. Not surprisingly, the customer appreciated the exceptional service he received.

Dickey Electric retro truck“Wouldn’t you know, two weeks later he calls me back,” Dickey said. “He had a plant in Columbiana. He says, ‘Joe can you do industrial work, too?’ I said, ‘Anything you need.’ We’ve been down there ever since; Columbiana Foundry. He never forgot that.”

Now, many years later, Dave Dickey said that while the holiday interruptions were a common occurrence, they were never a bother.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a holiday where someone didn’t call us saying they needed a breaker or some part because their family was out,” Dave said. “And it might have put our family out, but it’s what you do.”

Stories like these are among the many ways NECA-IBEW Electricians member contractors stand out from the competition; they are certified and qualified to provide you with the quality- and safety-first electrical service customers need, wherever and whenever they’re needed. Visit our contractor directory today to see a complete list of local NECA-IBEW Electricians contractors.