Generally speaking, I would rather have great service and a mediocre product (or a more expensive price), than a great bargain or fantastic product and poor service. Bad service can ruin everything for me. Great bottle of wine + scrumptious steak – good service = crappy night. Fountain soda + 3-piece meal (original recipe) + great service = happy Pete.

Of course the perfect scenario would be a great bottle of wine, scrumptious steak, and great service. I am happy to pay a price for that. I like to ‘over’ tip when the service is exceptional. (And usually that just requires a great attitude.)

All of my money is important to me. When I am spending it somewhere I expect good service. If I don’t get it, I will probably not be back. We all have way too many choices to have to endure indifference. I would rather pay extra for better service, even if the same product is a lot cheaper (and likely with a higher hassle-factor) somewhere else. I would gladly pay an extra hundred bucks for something to NOT have to stand in line and shop at 5am on Black Friday.

I was shopping for an axe handle one afternoon, and the bin of axe handles was empty. I asked an employee walking past if they had any axe handles. He looked at the empty bin, and then at me and said, “Does it look like we have any axe handles?” Fair enough. Guess where I didn’t purchase my lawn mower, chain saw, log splitter, and power washer?

Be pleasant and take care of your customers. (And remember, as my friend John says, “Everyone’s your customer.”) When I’m happy I tip well. Karma tips better.

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.

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