*******

First for Pro Home Depot logoYesterday, I hinted at some changes in my thinking regarding my local Home Depot. To read:  You can do it, we can help :: My Home Depot.

A good part of this has been fostered by getting to know some of the people who work in the stores, associates as they are known by title.  My local store has one such associate who has done more to change the way I view the HD brand than any other.  His name is Skip and Skip is nothing short of amazing.

To start with, Skip knows where everything is in the store and the very sight of him eases my mind. My guess would be that he is in his early to mid-seventies and I believe The Home Depot for him is a relatively new career. It would be very interesting to know Skip’s story, as whatever he did before Depot has positioned him perfectly to serve as an emissary to customers who are bowled over by the enormity of trying to find one thing amidst the thousands of items available in the store.

Skip possesses the ability to know at first glance whether his help is needed. He always offers help but you can literally tell that he knows whether you need it or not. If you do, skip will dash, with you, to the precise location of the item on your list and if you don’t his offer becomes much more about “good morning” or “good afternoon” than “can I help you?” Skip is consistently genuine and dependable.

It is quite something to watch Skip in action, because not only is he an immense help to us customers, but he is a rock for his fellow employees. I have seen them go to Skip for all manner of requests and support.

Most importantly, I never feel like I am a burden to Skip and if his easy offering of help is rooted in some company policy I would never know it. Skip is a public servant who happens to work in the private sector.

During my visit to Home Depot to learn more about the company’s “First for Pros” program, I had the pleasure of meeting Ed Wade, the store’s general manager, and here is what he had to say about Skip:

“Skip is the model for Home Depot’s standard of customer service. I have never known an associate with his level of passion for our customers and this company. He is an  inspiration to everyone he comes in contact with.”

I could not agree more and every encounter I have had with Skip has given me much more than satisfaction. Each time I meet him, I leave striving to live by his example of excellence. I cannot thank him enough and I will close with Skip’s own words:

“Always a pleasure!”

*******

This Series

This post is part of series focusing on the Home Depot‘s FIRST for Pro program.  With it, Barry got a behind the scenes look at their suite of pro services. These posts track a recent visit to his local Home Depot in Lewes, Delaware.

— To read more from this Series ::

*******

The Home Depot‘s FIRST for Pro services program addresses pro contractors’ biggest needs. Understanding what they do, getting them in and out quickly and giving them the best possible price.  Highlights of the program include:

  • FIRST for Pro Power Hours featuring extra staff on the floor during the morning rush. This includes dedicated loaders to get Pro customers in and out fast.
  • To make Pro shopping even quicker, the program offers two-hour pickup. Call in an order and The Home Depot will have it ready to go within two hours.
  • If you can’t make it to the store, the FIRST for Pro program can arrange free on-site delivery for paint and appliance shipments via Pro Direct. They even help coordinate large shipments directly from the vendor.
  • Where permitted, The Home Depot offers FIRST for Pro dedicated parking areas close to the store.
  • Dedicated Pro associates at The Home Depot designated to deliver outstanding customer service.

To find out more, check back for future posts in the series or visit Homedepot.com/Pro.

~jb

Disclosure Statement The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their FIRST for Pro program. As part of this promotion, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.