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Offering information and fun for the appliance repair industry and interested do-it-yourselfers since 2013.

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Phone: 1-800-377-8881
Email: Sales@WLMay.Com

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Featured Client: Reliable Maytag

Reprinted from: What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 10. Reliable Maytag is proud to call St. George, UT "home". St. George is also home to some of the most spectacular beauty found anywhere; beauty that attracts scores of vacationers every year to witness, among other treasures, Zion National Park. This beautiful city offers year round recreational activities and festivities such as the annual Easter Day Art Festival and the St. George Marathon, held the first Saturday of October.

Reliable Maytag has been a family owned and operated business for the last 26 years. Wayne Hoppal has been in the appliance repair industry for an equally impressively long time. Fresh out of high school in 1982, Wayne was approached by Speed Queen to service local area commercial laundry mats. After 12 years of mastering appliance repair, in 1994, the opportunity to

purchase the local Maytag retailer presented itself. Thus marks the "birth" of Reliable Maytag. They successfully utilize the small local radio station to market their current and prospective clientele. Wayne is an admired fixture in the area due to his creative and distinctive radio spots. In their spare time, you can find Wayne and his wife Cindy out on the trails of the Paiute Trail System or boating on Lake Powell.

The biggest concern for Wayne is the amount of servicers being approached by manufacturers to become authorized techs in their small community. In his area, there are currently 4 authorized techs, and recently they learned 4 more are being added. In such a small city, this could prove costly. He considers his best tool is the internet and the instant access to information it provides. The introduction of cordless tools years back has made a great impact on repair times. The reduced time to repair appliances, allowed more service calls to be performed daily. Like in every aspect of repair life, having the right tool at the right time is key. Wayne feels that "W.L. May Co has all the right tools in place for servicers like me to be successful."

If you are ever cruising through Utah, enjoying the breathtaking beauty of the State (see link in the left column), stop by Reliable Maytag and introduce yourself; who knows, maybe Wayne will share his infamous radio commercials with you.

If you would like YOUR company profiled as a featured client send an email to: rob.m@wlmay.com

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Goals

Reaching That Goal! 

Hello everyone and welcome back. We hope you had a great Christmas, however you celebrated the holiday. At the end of the year, we enter a time of reflection upon our previous years accomplishments as well as directing our thoughts to what we would like to accomplish in 2014. The tradition is to start each year with New Years Resolutions. This has become almost a joke as so often people will make grand resolves and by the end of January they will have thrown in the towel and have gone back to their old habits.  What I want to examine today is how to turn that resolution into an accomplishment.

There are two things that are most likely to cause a resolution to fail. Those things are unrealistic goals and inadequate planning. These two factors go hand in hand. The more difficult a goal is to achieve, the more planning will help to reach those goals. I am not suggesting that you limit your dreams. I AM saying that a challenging goal will likely not happen unless there is a plan in place to achieve it.

When goals are considered, experts recommend that they be both attainable and measurable. What is attainable will vary depending on your situation. For example, for a small company that was run as a part time operation in 2013, that is planning to go full time a 100% increase in profits seems pretty reasonable. That would be miraculous growth for a large established operation running a fleet of of trucks. The first thing is to consider what you want. At this point, go ahead and let the sky be the limit. You may find yourself with a few things you would like to make happen. Once you have pondered what you would like to make happen, stop and consider if it is a realistic option. If so, you are ready to begin planning. If not, consider breaking your objective down into its various parts. If 100 percent growth is an unattainable number, what about 50%? 25%? Sometimes the hardest part of attaining goals is setting them in the first place.  Once you have determined what results you would like to see then it is time to work out a strategy.

One Bite At A Time!
There is an old statement that says the way to eat an elephant is one bite ate a time. It means that when you have a seemingly insurmountable task, the way to conquer it is to break it down into more manageable portions that can be tackled. Lets say, for example that last year your new company did 10,000 dollars worth of business and this year you would like to double that number to get to 20,000. How will you get there? Bite size pieces.

I would suggest staring by looking at how many days there are in the year to work with. On the average, there are 260 business days a year. You might need to take a few of them off so lets keep the math simple and work with an assumed 250 day business year. Next we need to take our desired goal of 20,000 dollars and divide that number by the number of days we have to get it it done. So 20,000 divided by 250 is 80. That means you will need to do 80 dollars worth of business a day to reach that number. Another way to consider the problem is to take the increase you are hoping to see, and divide THAT by the number of days. That shows us that we need to do 40 dollars a day increase over our daily figures for last year.

Now obviously the example I am using is likely much less than your own personal goals for next year but the method is the same. We have taken the too large to ponder number and broken it down to a far more easily attained goal (yet we haven't changed the main goal at all). Now that you have a more manageable number, it is time to consider what can be done to get there. To grow profits, you really have two choices: increase income or reduce expenses.

To increase income you can raise your rates or you can do more calls. Of course, you can only raise your rates so far and there are only so many hours in the day. At the recent Regional Service Meeting the subject came up in the round table discussion of interruptions by phone calls as guys were running their service calls. It was suggested that, in many cases, it would make financial sense to hire a part time entry level employee to take those calls and schedule them so that the tech in the field could concentrate on the job. The suggestion was that if you were to follow this approach it is possible that you would free yourself up enough to more than offset the cost of the employee. That would be another way to increase income. There are lots of ideas that may be other ways of increasing income, or reaching your other goals that you can come up with.

Another way to increase profits is to reduce some of your overhead expenses. If you find yourself going to a job twice, once to diagnose and once again with parts, you are in the perfect position to reduce your expenses by making sure that you have enough inventory on hand to fix most breakdowns on the first visit. Other expenses that can be addressed involve warranty service. If you are running calls for a warranty company at less than profitable rates, you may gain some customers as a result of that relationship. Make no mistake though, if you are doing these call at a loss they are really an expense. Can you negotiate a better rate or run cash calls instead? There are probably dozens of small expenses through the day that can add up as well. Any of those expenses that can be reduced help your bottom line.
Little Bits Add Up

As you can see, there are many ways to reach the goals you set for yourself. The important thing is that you set those goals and work to achieve them. You will probably have some days where you just don't reach that daily goal you have set for yourself. When that happens, don't be discouraged and give up. Each day is a new beginning. Start each day focused on your goals for that day, and work to achieve them. By the end of the year, you will find yourself in a much improved position. One bite a time.

Thanks to all of you for your help in letting me achieve my own goals for 2013. W.L. May Company, and myself, would like to wish you all the greatest success in 2014. May all of your goals be reached-whatever they are and how ever you strategize to get there. Good luck!

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Motivation









For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Schedule

Portland's Peacock Lane picture courtesy of Chuck Coe

During Christmas and New Years Holidays, there is are several schedule changes that you should be aware of. They are as follows:

December 24, Christmas Eve:
This is the busiest day of the year for shipping companies. Most carriers will put a priority on residential deliveries.
W.L. May Co: Closed
UPS: Normal delivery of ground, air, and international shipments. Pickup of air and international shipments only.
OnTrac: Normal Deliveries. Pickups by special request.
Fed EX: Ground-Open. Early station, on-call pickups and drop box closings in some areas.
              Home-Open
              Freight-Closed
US Mail: Regular Delivery
WXPX: Normal Delivery

December 25, Christmas:
WL May Co: Closed
UPS: Closed
OnTrac: Closed
Fed EX: Closed
US Mail: Closed
WXPX: Closed

December 31, New Years Eve
WL May Co: Closed
UPS: Delivery and pickup of air and international packages only.
OnTrac: Normal deliveries. Pickups by special request.
Fed EX: Ground-Open
              Home-Open
              Freight-Open
US Mail: Regular Delivery
WXPX: Normal Delivery

January 1, New Years Day
WL May Co: Closed
UPS: Closed
OnTrac: Closed
Fed EX: Closed
US Mail: Closed
WXPX: Closed

All of us here at W.L. May Co. wish you all have a great Holiday Season!

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday: News Recap December 19, 2013

If you have been reading the W.L. May Blog but haven't checked us out on FacebookTwitter or Google+, you may not be getting the whole story. We use all of those social media outlets to share news stories that relate to our industry as well as appliance tips we have found from other sources. Here is a recap of some of the top stories we have seen lately. A lot has been happening so without further ado:

We start with some consumer friendly articles we feel would be great for sharing:
  • Freds Appliance talked about some frequent washing machine problems, the causes and solutions. LINK
  • Samurai Appliance Repair Man wrote a great article discussing extended warranties and protection plans. LINK
  • Treehugger posted a list of 8 easy maintenance tips for front load washers. LINK
  • All Tech had some suggestions of things to check for on broken dryer and how to prepare for the repairs, if needed. LINK
Next, we look at the manufacturers and how they have been in the news recently:
  • The chief Design officer at Electrolux, Stefano Marzano is retiring. LINK
  • Digital Journal reported that Electrolux has jumped on the shipping container construction craze, by using them to build a mobile showroom kitchen. LINK
We found several articles that might be of interest to those of you who love all thing appliances:
  • Some respected thought leaders said the washing machine is a more important invention than the internet LINK
  • Reviewed.Com had five "awesome lifehacks" involving appliances. LINK
  • WickedLocal.com turned an old dishwasher into a terrarium. LINK
  • Crafty Garden Mama offered a how-to make wool dryer balls to use instead of fabric softener sheets. LINK
Sometimes, the links we post are related to technology, business or happenings on the internet:
  • Intuit discussed fake reviews on online sites. How to spot them and what to do when you find them. LINK
  • New York Times ran in interesting article that discussed small businesses, and the opportunities and pitfalls for them when considering affiliate programs.  LINK
  • Livescience discussed the transition to smart homes. LINK
  • Business Marketing Sales advocated refrigerator magnets as an inexpensive way to grow your business and keep repeat customers LINK
  • Smart Van shared the results of a report on European service companies and how they are running their businesses and increasing their profits. LINK
  • HBR Blog Network discussed how an increase in employee performance data has the risk causing an overlook of hard-to-measure employee skills. LINK
  • Smart Van showed us some of the resources they are using to stay informed. LINK
  • Service Coach found Twitter to be more useful than Facebook for marketing. LINK
  • Inc. ran the results of a survey of small business owners regarding their views on 2014. LINK
We close with a fun story:
  • Wall Street Journal revisited the prototype kitchen developed by RCA and Whirlpool for the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959 to see which ideas have made into the modern home. LINK
For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday W.L.May Profile: Chuck Coe

Chuck Coe
This is the part of the blog where we share a little about ourselves. Today we would like to introduce you to one of the people that help provide you with our famously fast and accurate customer service.

Name?
Chuck Coe

Job Title?
Marketing/Sales Manager

Where did you grow up?
Woodbury, CT

How long have you been with W.L. May?
Started in the warehouse in 1981 (32 years)

What did you do prior to joining W.L. May?
Landscaping and very hard mill work

What do you enjoy doing when you're not at work?
Cooking, BBQ's, sports (Chuck is a huge Yankees fan), Music (Chuck can often be found taking in the Portland live music scene), Oregon Coast

To what do you credit your success?
George Thomas taking me under his wings and having faith in me. As well as hard work and perseverance

What do you like about working at WL May?
Every day brings a new challenge. I also enjoy the friendships with clients and fellow employees.

Can you share one piece of advice for others in our industry?
Keep learning and provide the best customer service possible.

Is there anything else you like to say?
It's been a great run and I hope to keep going for another 10 years or so.

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Giving Time for the Holidays

Ho-ho-ho, All,

Well, I am on vacation this week but wanted to send a last blog before the holidays.  W L May will be closed on December 24, 25 and 31 and January 1, so there won't be any blogs on those days from me.

But I know time is running short for those hard-to-buy-for people so what better gift can you give but time?  The W L May Portland branch has a collection of fun, funky clocks that are made by local artists at Allen Designs Studio in Vancouver, WA (yes, the OTHER Vancouver).  These crazy, quirky, unique and talented people have designed wall clocks, soap dispensers, jewelry, picture frames, etc. for whatever you're (or others) are interested in.  All clocks are $39.95 and I've seen people go out of here with armloads of these.  More are available in the catalog we have at the front counter.



Aren't they adorable!  Come on in and take a look.

I wish you and yours a happy and safe Holiday season.  Please be thankful for all you have - they are lots of people out there not as fortunate so if you don't give a clock donate your time or goods to help make sure someone else's Holidays are happy. 

See ya next year!!!!!

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Motivation

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fun Friday: Appliance Trivia Challenge

So you think you know all about appliances? Here is a short set of trivia questions to test your knowledge.

QUESTIONS:
1.What was the name of the first electrically powered washing machine?
2.The Whirlpool agitater #363633 was very popular for years, Whirlpool had a name for that agitator. What did they call it?
3.The trade organization that W.L. May works with is the USA, USB, or RSA?
4.Tom Hanks starred in movie in the 1990's that prominently featured an appliance store, what was the name of the film?
5.Whose washing machines used the wig wag?
6.What is a TOPS book used for?
7.Whirlpools TOPS is an acronym, but for what?
8.This car maker made appliances until 1979, who were they?

ANSWERS:
1.The Thor
2.Super surgilator agitator
3.USA
4.That Thing You Do!
5.Whirlpool
6.Whirlpool parts research book
7.Total Operational Parts Summary
8.GM

O-2 correct: You know a bit, but still have a lot to learn. Luckily you came to the right place.
2-4 correct: You know a fair amount about appliances. Keep visiting this blog to learn even more.
4-6 correct: You know a lot about appliances. Pass some of that knowledge on to someone.
6-8 correct You are an appliance star! Great job!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Appliance Tweets December Dryer Edition

During a recent trip through the Twitter looking glass, we found a small pile of dryer related tweets to share with you today:

Having a washer and dryer will be a sign to this tweeter that she's "made it"-we wish her success...




This guy, on the other hand seems to have "made it" already...




Sometimes all it takes to "make it" is avoiding disaster-even if you make a typo along the way...




Other times, if you want to "make it" it is just a matter of getting started.




Dryer sheets get mentioned in a lot of tips like this one...




We suspect this tweeter won't try that last tip...




Maybe this tip will work better for them...




Or this one...




Just don't get carried away with the idea like this tweeter...




Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day out there. Happy servicing!




Wednesday, December 11, 2013

W.L. May Wednesday: Everybody Has Gift Ideas in December-Even A Parts House!

Creative Commons license on image.

We are in the thick of the holiday season now. Everywhere you look, people are getting ready for Christmas or whatever they celebrate. We hope you are all having a wonderful time with the season. With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be hard to squeeze in time to get a little something extra for the folks in your life. W.L. May is here to help.

Living on the West Coast means that, in a lot of places, patio season is year around. Sometimes in the winter it can be a little chilly out on the deck. Lava Heat Italia makes a really cool looking propane patio heater that we carry. They call it a Lava Lite and it is my pick for the Cadillac of gifts in our inventory. You might have seen this unit used on a few episodes of the cable series "Bar Rescue" to provide stylish heat at a few patio bars they refurbished. A description or a still photo doesn't do this heater justice, but the following video shows the unit off well. If you know of someone who enjoys the outdoor lifestyle, this would make a stylish and practical gift. Call us for pricing and availability.



On a less extravagant scale, another new item we are carrying is the EveryDrop water filter from Whirlpool. Many people don't drink enough water in the course of their day and this could help make it easier to keep up with their suggested intake. This is a somewhat comparable product to some other brands water filters such as that well known brand that is sold with a pitcher, whose name we won't mention. This filter has a bit to recommend it by way of comparison. First is its portability. The EveryDrop filter comes designed for travel with a special case to make it easy to take the filter with you (and to contain any lingering water droplets after its use). Another point in its favor is how fast it filters the water run through it. This thing is fast. The core filter can be replaced and it even has in indicator to show when the filter was last changed out. The following video shows the product in use. We stock it. Call us for pricing or to order.



In some cases, a great gift is just a helping hand. Have you considered giving a dishwasher rack refurbish as a gift? A package of tines tips and a bottle of rack touch up paint can give the racks in their dishwasher a fresh look for a pretty minimal dollar investment. Another idea would be to clean out their dryer vent. A safe home is a gift that keeps on giving. Tools and parts to do the either job with ease are available from W.L. May.

If none of those ideas work for you, I have just one more suggestion. Beef jerky. What, you say, beef jerky from a parts house? Well, its true. W.L. May is the sole distributor of Luke Jerky. Luke Jerky is small batch, locally made, artisanal jerky made by our very own Wes Luke. The number of repeat customers means that it sells out fast, but it is oh so tasty.

We hope we have been able to provide you with some inspiration to help with your gift giving and that you have a wonderful holiday. Whichever holiday and however you celebrate we wish you the best and look forward to serving you next year and into the future.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Winterizing

Hey, All,

BRRRRRR!!!!!  It is soooo cold!  I saw on the news Saturday night that the average temperature ACROSS THE COUNTRY was 14.5 degrees!  Way too cold for this lady!

So if you haven't checked (and it may be too late now but not for later) start checking your appliances that may be in an unheated garage, back porch, basement or outbuilding for any cracks and leaking.  And maybe get some heat in there to bring it up above freezing.

Creative Commons license on image

Washers:  Check your incoming water pipes, fill hoses, water valve, pump and other hoses.  Slowly warm these up and check for leaks.  As you know, water expands when frozen and can bust those parts to pieces.  If you have cracks and leaking and aren't up to the task, call your favorite appliance repair company and have them come check things out.

Refrigerators:  If this has an icemaker or is in an unheated garage you may be facing some of the same issues with freezing.  Check fill lines, valves and if it is still running.  Frigidaire brands have what they call a "garage kit" 5303918301 that are for older Frigidaire refrigerators that have difficulities operating in areas that drop below 34 degrees.   This heater kit will NOT work on Frigidaire refrigerators manufactured prior to 2001, on side-by-side or counter-depth models, or on models with electronic controls.  Unfortunately, no other brands have a kit like this so check that second refrigerator.

Also, don't forget your animals, both wild and domestic.  Make sure their water supply is not a block of ice and that their food isn't frozen.  If they sleep outside, either bring them in or give them extra sleeping materials (blankets, straw, etc.) so they sleep warm, too!

I am on vacation from December 13-26 and I will have a last minute shopping tip for next week, but won't be back on the blog until next year.

So from me and mine to you and yours have a safe and happy holiday season!

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fun Friday: American Restorations Tackles An Easy Washer

One of the things I like about being a part person is seeing and keeping alive old machines. Naturally, I enjoy a lot of the antique shows on TV. American Restorations on History Channel is one of those programs. Luckily the History Channel offers clips for sharing so we can show you this clip on a 1930's Easy brand washing machine. Enjoy!



For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday: News Recap December 5, 2014

If you have been reading the W.L. May Blog but haven't checked us out on FacebookTwitter or Google+, you may not be getting the whole story. We use all of those social media outlets to share news stories that relate to our industry as well as appliance tips we have found from other sources. Here is a recap of some of the top stories we have seen lately. A lot has been happening so without further ado:

We start with some consumer friendly articles we feel would be great for sharing:
  • The Handy Guys Podcast covered phosphates in dishwasher detergents and suggested a few solutions to the problem. LINK
  • In case of poisoning from dishwasher detergent tablets, New York Times has emergency instructions. LINK
  • A Good Guys Appliance Repair Blog shared a few things to looks for in a repair company. LINK
  • The Natural Resources Defense Council posted this infographic that talks about how to use your refrigerator the most effectively to save energy and have your food last longer before spoiling. LINK
  • Consumer Affairs considers the pros and cons of top load vs front load washing machines. LINK
  • The Consumerist suggests some additives that might help if you are one of the many people who are troubled by water spots because of phosphate free detergent. LINK
  • Affordable Service Appliance posted a good piece about the costs involved in an appliance repair and why the repairman charges what he does. LINK
  • Daily Herald offered some maintenance and sprucing up tips for your dishwasher. LINK
  • Greener Ideal shared some easy ways to make your refrigerator more energy efficient. LINK
  • ABC10 talked about considerations involved with replacing a refrigerator, and whether replacement is even the best option. LINK
Next, we look at the manufacturers and how they have been in the news recently:
  • Electrolux cooking had a change in leadership for their cooking product division. LINK
  • GE predicted that new features being rolled out on their machines will inspire a round of price cuts by their competitors. LINK
  • We found an interesting timeline of GE history on their website. LINK
  • MarketWatch shared appliance trends suggested by GE. LINK
  • There is a recall for Viking side by side refrigerators. We aren't involved, but thought you might want to know. LINK
  • GE's announced that their new machines have different tones used depending on what product line the tone is used on. LINK
We found several articles that might be of interest to those of you who love all thing appliances:
  • Craftlife tried a recipe for homemade dishwasher tablets. They weren't impressed. LINK
  • Augusta Chronicle suggested a few organic replacements for washing machine detergent and fabric softener sheets. We were a bit skeptical. LINK
  • Simple Bites showed off an immaculately stocked refrigerator along with tips on how to do that yourself. LINK
  • Leading up to Thanksgiving, the LA Times published a recipe for cooking turkey in the dishwasher. We opted to pass on that recipe. LINK
  • The UK's Daily Mail reported on a service dog that has been trained to do the laundry and the modified machine he does it with. LINK
  • A Beautiful Mess shared this washer dryer makeover that looks pretty easy & fun. LINK
  • Totem Appliance Service reported in a radical new design in washing machines. Called a Xeros, it uses polymer beads rather than soap and water. LINK
Sometimes, the links we post are related to technology, business or happenings on the internet:
  • Bezinga Talked about the 4 appliance makers with the the highest earning estimates for the next year. LINK
  • Motley Fool shared reasons to be optimistic about Whirlpool and the rest of the appliance manufacturers. LINK
  • ReadWriteWeb discussed privacy missteps made by social media, and considerations to make as manufacturers move forward with smart appliances and the connected home. LINK
  • The United Servicers Association share the secret to profitable service. It may not be what you think. LINK
  • WebSearchSocial compared 2 different marketing emails they received and share what was & what was not effective about them, LINK
  • Reviewed.com looked at 5 appliance brands that they feel retired too soon. LINK
We close with few fun stories:
  • The Indian version of The Onion reported on a conflict in the Laundry Room. LINK
  • What do you do when find a great looking wringer washer at the antiques store but you don't have a car to get it home? If you are this New Zealand woman, you hitchhike! LINK
  • If you have made it this far and still want to keep going, AutomaticWasher.Org has a great collection of old appliance ad videos that can check out. LINK
For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Five Social Media Tips and Observations

Creative Commons license on image.
Today I would like to take a moment to talk to you that are doing social media for your repair company. In the course of running W.L. Mays social media, I get to see social media activity from repair companies literally around the world. Some of them seem to "get it" and have had a lot of success building their business by being social online. Some of them could, quite honestly, use some advice.


Here are five tips and observations (in no particular order):

  1. When a company takes the time to like and follow other businesses in their area that deal with the same clients, they expose themselves to a large pool of potential new customers.
  2. People like hearing about what your employees are doing. It involves your followers far more than an announced sale price. Even better is to find a way to share your fans with the world. This will only increase your word of mouth as people will often share with their friends that they were featured on your page.
  3. When you get a good review, their is nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back a little and sharing it. If you do so make sure you are making other posts as well or people will start to lose interest.
  4. Some of us love a good argument about religion or politics. Those can certainly be interesting subjects for debate, and I personally have spent many an hour with close friends discussing those subjects. I would recommend against you discussing those on a business social media page. Yes I know, it is an emotionally charged subject and you WILL get likes and comments. Half of the readers will probably feel a closer bond to you, as they share your viewpoint. The other half will not. You may even drive some of them away from you. I think it does more harm than good and is best avoided. Remember too, that anything you post will likely be available forever to someone who who knows where to look.
  5. Don't bad mouth your competition. It is just never good form. It says to the world that you have nothing good to say for yourself so you will say bad things about your competition. That's not exactly a confidence builder and won't do your business any favors.

Do you have any tips or observations you have learned from developing a social media presence in your business? We would love to hear about it in the comments section.

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kelly's Korner - First Impressions

Hey, All,

As you all know, first impressions can make or break any kind of dealings with another person.  And if you are running a business, this may be the only contact you have with a potential new customer.

So when that phone rings, how are you answering it?  A gruff "Bob's"?  Or a cheerful, friendly "Bob's Appliance Service, this is Mary, how may we help you?"  Your greeting doesn't have to be long (in fact I hate the ones that are!) but identifying the business, who is answering and the offer of assistance in a cheerful, helpful tone is the most important.  This also helps for recorded messages.  Most people are willing to listen to recordings with more information than a real voice because they know that the info they need may be on there, but try to keep the recordings short, sweet and to the point.

Mazzie and Shannon - Our first impression experts!
So now that the greetings are out of the way, getting the name and phone number of the person calling is imperative - first, because people like to be called by name and, if for some reason the call gets dropped, (and in these days of cell phones that could be highly likely) you have their number to call them right back.

Now, listen to the customer and use my list of 10 questions to get the info you need.   If, by some chance, they are calling for something that you can't help them with, sending them off with another avenue to explore is way better that "sorry" and hanging up.  I get calls all the time with people looking for stuff we don't carry.  And sometimes all it takes is looking up the manufacturer of their product on the web and giving them a phone number.  No, this isn't something that you HAVE to do, but that person will remember the assist (or not) and will be a major factor on if they call you for something that you can help them with.

Now, how does your tech look when he shows up at the customer's?  Is his vehicle clean and in good repair?  Is his appearance neat and clean?  You don't need to have fancy uniforms, but a polo shirt (looks better than a t-shirt) with the company logo on it and nice pants or jeans is nice.  Does he put on protective shoe coverings (we have these - 50 pairs of SHUBEE) and protects the floor around the appliance?  Does he clean up any mess he may make (we have cleaning products too!)?  This is also a way to make a major good  impression on a customer by treating their home as a castle.  The clean-up process is also a good time to do add-on sales by offering the customer cleaning products, added services and leaving any promotional items like refrigerator magnets, pens, brochures, etc., so they will call you back if they need more repairs.

Last, but not least, a follow up call.  Call the customer the very next day and find out their opinion on how the repair went.  Are they satisfied?  Is the appliance still working?  Was the technician clean, neat, personable and knowledgeable?  Sometimes this is the only way you can know if your technician is an asset or liability to your business.  And if they have some type of complaint, dealing with it right then and there will better their impression of your business.  Ignoring it will probably not get you back in their door again.

So, take a look at you and your first impressions and wow your customers!

Have a great week!

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday Motivation



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Friday, November 29, 2013

Fun Friday: Appliance Trivia Challenge

Creative Commons license on image.
So you think you know all about appliances? Here is a short set of trivia questions to test your knowledge.

QUESTIONS:
1. This appliance was inspired by a melted candy bar. What is it?
2. The first electric washing machine was introduced in 1892, 1904, or 1916?
3. What is a wig wag on an appliance?
4. Who made the skinny-mini laundry center?
5. "Hillbilly music" will often use 2 laundry related instruments. What are they?
6. What is a monitor top?
7. J.C Penneys once sold appliances with their name on it. Who made them?
8. What appliance brand is a pun on waste treatment device that uses combustion?


ANSWERS:
1. The microwave oven. During testing of microwaves for use in radar, Percy LeBaron Spencer, a Raytheon engineer noticed that the microwaves had melted a candy bar in his pocket. Further testing and design led to the microwave oven.
2. 1904
3. A wig wag is an oscillating solenoid used on some belt drive washers.
4. Frigidaire
5.The washtub bass and the washboard
6. GE refrigerators that had the compressor assembly mounted over the top of the refrigerator.
7. GE
8. In-Sink-Erator (Incinerator)

O-2 correct: You know a bit, but still have a lot to learn. Luckily you came to the right place.
2-4 correct: You know a fair amount about appliances. Keep visiting this blog to learn even more.
4-6 correct: You know a lot about appliances. Pass some of that knowledge on to someone.
6-8 correct You are an appliance star! Great job!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule



W.L. May Company will be closed Thursday, November 28th in order to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families. Below is the Thanksgiving weekend schedule for W.L. May Company and our primary shipping companies. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!


W.L. May
Wednesday, November 27th: Normal Hours
Thursday, November 28th: Thanksgiving. Closed
Friday, November 29th: Normal Hours
Saturday, November 30th: Normal Hours

UPS
Wednesday, November 27th: Normal pickups & deliveries.
Thursday, November 28th: Thanksgiving. Closed - No pickups or deliveries.
Friday, November 29th: Delivery and pickup of air and international packages only. 
Saturday, November 30th: Closed

Ontrac
Wednesday, November 27th: Normal pickups & deliveries.
Thursday, November 28th: Thanksgiving. Closed - No pickups or deliveries.
Friday, November 29th: Normal Deliveries. Pickups by special request.
Saturday, November 30th: Normal deliveries.

Fed Ex Ground
Wednesday, November 27th: Normal pickups & deliveries.
Thursday, November 28th: Thanksgiving. Closed - No pickups or deliveries.
Friday, November 29th: Open
Saturday, November 30th: Closed

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kelly's Korner - 10 Questions that are Needed for a Service Call

Hey, All,

So, I was thinking of 10 questions that need to be asked and answered when you take a service call.  Whether it is the tech taking the call or office personnel, these are things that the office and tech need to know before going out on a call.  And I'll put my reasons for these on it also.

Creative Commons license on image

1.  Contact info:  Name, Address, BEST phone number, opt – email.
     The more information you have on your customers, the more they feel like they matter to you and your business.  Having a file on customers ultimately helps you with return calls, warranty and with them recommending you to friends and family.  Having an email address makes it easy for you to contact them for follow-up, sales, specials, reviews, etc.

2.  What kind of appliance:  Manufacturer, model, serial and/or “P”   number.
     This is so needed in so many ways - the first questions we ask you to look up the parts you need is who made it and what is the model number.  Very, very rarely are we able to find parts without it and this is the information our research programs run on.  Also, some manufacturer's made design changes within a model and the changes are marked by the serial number and/or manufacturer's number (mostly  Amana models and we refer to them as "P" numbers as they always start with a "P").  Also, if the part we supply you with fails, we need to have the model and serial numbers to file warranty claims.  Without it, we cannot file a claim.

3.  Description of issue:  What is it doing or not doing?
     This information will give you a chance to pre-diagnose what is wrong with the appliance and to get the parts to take with you so you can fix it on your first visit.  Have the customer be as specific as possible - the more information you have the better and faster you can get them helped.  "It won't work" is not enough.  With each different appliance there should be specific questions asked to help diagnose.

4.   Ask if they have checked plug and breaker box.
      Believe me - your customer is not going to be happy if you come out and charge them a service call fee just to plug in the refrigerator.  Sometimes the fix is as easy as that.

5.  Date and time needed for technician.
     People have their own schedules, too, with work, family and other issues.  And if they need to take time off work to be there when you come to fix their appliance, the technician being on time is very important.

6.  Who is going to be there at time of appointment? Person calling/spouse/babysitter/adult child.
     If the person who is calling to schedule the repair is not the one going to be there, you need to know who is and if that person can make any decisions needed - like to fix or not, secondary appointment, or if anything else comes up.

7.  Any pets or other issues need to know about getting to residence?  Construction, detours, cross streets, landmarks, gates, security, etc.
     If you have dogs, especially running loose, most technicians will not get out of their vehicle until it is restrained.  You know your dog - they do not and they will not take a chance on getting bit.  The more information that the tech has for finding your house the better.  GPS is great up to a certain extent but can't provide for everything.  Also, if you live in a gated community or have a security gate into your property, your security people need to know a tech is coming and the tech needs to know how to get in there.

8.  Secondary contact people and will this person be able to make decisions.
     If the person scheduling the appointment is not going to be there when the tech is or is going to be unavailable for contact, having a secondary contact person - landlord, spouse, live-in partner, roommate, etc. - will avoid hassles about whether the repair needs to be done or the machine replaced.

9.  Payment method
     Make sure you are up front about your fees.  Is your customer paying cash, check, debit or credit card?  What if they only have American Express and you don't take that?  Best to get that sticky situation taken care of up front to avoid any miscommunications.

10.  Communication
       Is the tech that is going out for the repair able to communicate with the person that's going to be there?  If the customer doesn't speak the same language as your tech, it can be very frustrating trying to get questions asked and answered.  If there is going to be a language difference, either schedule a tech that can speak the same language or arrange with the customer to have someone available that can translate.


I believe that having all these questions asked and answered will make all service calls a lot less hassles for everyone involved. 

Have a great week all!

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Motivation



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Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Featured Client: Amco Appliance

Reprinted from: What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 9
You know you have built a successful service company when you're recognized on the streets of your community and are greeted by shouts of "For a Good, Job Rob". Rob Robbins was an employee of Amco Appliance when he and his wife Theresa purchased the business in 1973. For the last 39 years they have been servicing appliances from Anchorage to Peter's Creek, located at the foot of Chugach National Forest, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Rob and Theresa owe their substantial success to their internet presence. Over the last year, utilizing the internet, their business has actually tripled. While they realize the power of the internet, they believe it is actually a "double-edged sword". With the proliferation of do-it-yourself web pages, selling replacement parts as well, competition has become more prevalent. That is why they focus on providing superior service, which has built long term relationships with customers; consistently leading to repeat business, as well as referrals.

One of their concerns for the appliance service industry is the increased incidence of "disposable appliance" products. They believe manufacturers do not make appliances with the same quality as they once did. It used to be only the microwave was considered disposable. Now, with the decrease in quality, and the prohibitive replacement cost of electronic boards, they have found a decrease in actual repairs being performed.

When it's time for relaxation, Rob and Theresa can be found enjoying the scenic beauty of the Alaska territory. They enjoy many outdoor activities, whether it is fishing at Delong Lake, camping, or four-wheeling in Sutton, Alaska. One hobby Rob loves, seldom publicized in today's media, is his love of gold mining. He recently spent a week in Nome, AK watching the Discovery Channel film the "Bearing Sea Gold Rush", and sharpening his own skills. With gold prices as high as they are, it's a hobby that could actually pay for itself, and as we all know, that is quite rare.

If you would like YOUR company profiled as a featured client send an email to: rob.m@wlmay.com

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday: News Recap November 21, 2014

If you have been reading the W.L. May Blog but haven't checked us out on FacebookTwitter or Google+, you may not be getting the whole story. We use all of those social media outlets to share news stories that relate to our industry as well as appliance tips we have found from other sources. Here is a recap of some of the top stories we have seen lately. A lot has been happening so without further ado:

We start with some consumer friendly articles we feel would be great for sharing:
  • Consumer Affairs talked about features in refrigerator designs. LINK
  • Consumer Affairs shared 5 things to know when shopping for a washer or dryer. LINK
  • Detroit News discusses some of the gizmos and features being introduced on high end appliances. And whether they are worth it. LINK
Next, we look at the manufacturers and how they have been in the news recently:
  • Patent Bar Review explored recent patent applications from Whirlpool. Its an interesting view of the potential future. LINK
  • The Washington Post had an online chat with GE Industrial Design director, Lou Lenzi,. LINK
  • Electrolux began production in their new Memphis facility. LINK
  • Whirlpool Corp. promoted Joseph Liotine, vice president of marketing for the North American region, to president of U.S. operations. LINK
We found several articles that might be of interest to those of you who love all thing appliances:
  • PC Mag made a plea to designers to come up with an in-refrigerator composter. LINK
  • Hints from Heloise found us yet another use for the dishwasher. LINK
  • We found this older article on Freshome showing a unique design for kitchen appliance from 2008 that features a combination range/dishwasher that remains hidden beneath a planter box.  LINK
  • What happens when you run legos through a cycle on a washing machine? Serious science! Gizmodo explains. LINK
  • Bloomberg Business Week reported on the appliance trends we will be seeing heading into 2014. LINK
Sometimes, the links we post are related to technology, business or happenings on the internet:
  • Forbes suggested that moving of manufacturing back into the US may not live up to the hype. LINK
  • Facebook made a "small change" that could have a huge impact. LINK
  • Field Service Blog examined some of the tech behind the "internet of things". LINK
For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

W.L. May Wednesday: A Report From Our Branches: Crosley Cars

A great post from our Seattle Branch: 

When you hear the brand name Crosley, what do you think of? You think of a radios, refrigerators, washers & dryers; but how about cars?

Crosley made cars, as somewhat of a sideline, from 1939-1952. They shared in the pioneering of automobile technology back then with, among other things, being the first to:
Mass-market single overhead camshaft (SOHC) engines in 1946
Use of the term 'Sport Utility' in 1948
American sports car, the Hotshot in 1949
The Farm-O-Road model in 1950, precursor to the John Deer Gator

During World War II, the Crosley became attractive because of gasoline rationing and the good mileage it could achieve: 50 miles per US gallon. Crosley was the last company to cease production of civilian vehicles in 1942, partly to aid Crosley sales to facilitate fuel conservation, and partly because the War Production Board needed time to determine a use for Crosley's small factories. The factories converted to produce the very top secret Mark 53 radar AA proximity fuse.  This was so secret that it was taken to the Lunken Airport in unmarked trucks to be flown to its final destination.  When in combat they were only used on ships so they could not be captured by enemy troops. Civilian car production resumed in 1948.

Humphrey Bogart liked a two-cylinder Crosley, President Dwight D. Eisenhower  had a 1951 CD Surrey, while Boy George preferred a VS Super Sport.


Farm-O-Road
Military Pup
1949 Crosley Hotshot
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Brad's Perfect Traeger Turkey

Hey, All,

A few years ago, I was invited to my co-worker, mentor and honorary big brother's, Brad, for a get-together and he cooked a turkey on his Traeger that was THE best I'd ever had!  The white meat was so juicy and tender it melted in your mouth.  So he is sharing his recipe with me and you.

(Flicker/CC)
BRAD'S TERRIFIC TRAEGER TURKEY
 
Brine: In a large, clean bucket (Home Depot 5-gallon plastic bucket works great) that will completely submerge turkey, mix: 2 cups of the Traeger BBQ rub (or you can substitute 1-1/2 cups of salt,1 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of black pepper) and mix with some water.

Add equal amounts of quartered oranges, lemons and limes (half the amount in bottom of bucket) squeezed so the juice gets into the brine.  Put in turkey bottom end up and add enough water to completely cover.  With long handle spoon stir mixture around turkey so all the spices get all in and around turkey and then add rest of citrus.

Now this needs to be in a cool place for 8-12 hours.  I know I don't have a refrigerator big enough to hold it so you can put it in a cool garage or outside.  Make sure it's covered to avoid being spilled or anything getting into it.  When you are ready to cook take it out of the brine and rinse well under running water.  Discard the brine and fruit.  Pat turkey dry and continue with rest of recipe.

Fill Traeger hopper with Apple pellets and turn on High to warm up.

Coat turkey with olive oil inside and out.  Cut up equal amounts of oranges, lemons and limes and stuff inside turkey both body cavity and neck area.   Sprinkle a light coat of Traeger's Pork and Poultry Shake or your own favorite rub over the turkey.

Cook turkey on High for about 10 minutes then turn to Smoke setting.  Cook for about 4 hours, misting the inside and outside of turkey with apple juice very frequently (Brad just used a squirter bottle) - every 20-30 minutes (to me this is what made it so juicy!).  Then turn Traeger to 325 degrees and cook until internal temp of turkey breast is 165-170 degrees.  Pull turkey off Traeger and let rest 20-30 minutes before carving.

Man, I am making myself HUNGRY!!!!  I have GOT to get me a Traeger!  And if you don't have one you can make yourself an early Christmas present of one.  Come see our selection.

Bon appetit, mes amis!  And Thank You, Brad, for sharing your great recipe!


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Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Motivation


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Friday, November 15, 2013

Is Christmas Creep Good or Bad for the Repair Business?

Here we are in the middle of November. Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is almost 2 weeks away. When I turn on the radio, or browse the internet I am seeing more and more ads for "holiday" sales. Every year it seems that the adverstising starts a little earlier. Journalists have dubbed this phenomenon "Christmas Creep".

To be clear, I love the holiday season and always enjoy making merry with friends and family in December. The decorations and music always make me happy-I am no Grinch! However, when I was younger, the annual holiday advertising onslaught began on Thanksgiving or the day after, and it just wasn't done to advertise for Christmas and the other holidays before them. Obviously, times have changed.

The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are traditionally some of the busiest times of the year in an appliance service company. Lately I have been pondering if this Christmas Creep is impacting the work flow of the appliance repair industry. It seems likely that moving the holidays to the front of consumers minds should increase foot traffic into the stores of those repair companies that are associated with an appliance dealership. That can't be a bad thing.

What does not seem so obvious to me is how the phenomenon might change the service world. As we see more holiday advertising, it seems that less promotion is being dedicated to Thanksgiving. Will that decline in Thanksgiving promotion cause a decline in the number of service calls in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving? I don't know. I have observed that with less reminders the last minute rush seems to be gaining momentum during the last few years. Is that the result of Christmas Creep? Or is technology and the increased speed of modern life the cause? Or could there be some other cause?

Regardless of the causes, there does seem to be more of a last minute aspect to the Thanksgiving than ever before. This leaves servicers with the challenge of anticipating those last minute needs, and making sure that they are ready to provide their customers with those late requests. If you are servicer reading this, now is the time to make sure you are ready with appropriate stock on hand. If you are a consumer reading this, do yourself and your servicer a favor. Call your repair company earlier rather than later. This will be one less thing to deal with just before your big feast.

Have you seen any changes that seem to be caused by Christmas Creep? Do you think that holiday adverstising should wait until after Thanksgiving? Or maybe, do you appreciate the reminders so you can start your gift shopping earlier? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

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