WeatherTech: Floored by the Mats
Need floor mats for your car? Of course you do. Yes, you have the mats that came with the car. They match the carpet, but they’re so, well … chintzy.
The mats are supposed to protect your car’s interior from dirt and wear, but if you have kids, pets or are a bit unstable with your coffee, those stock mats provide precious little protection. Spilled liquids run right off the mat onto the carpet. When liquids run underneath, the mats actually make the stain worse by trapping the offending mess.
If you live in a cold climate you’re tracking snow, slush, sand and salt into your vehicle, and those factory mats don’t come close to protecting your car’s carpet.
You could buy new mats at the car wash or the body shop, but those generic mats aren’t any better quality, and they aren’t even sized specifically to fit your car’s interior.
What you need is WeatherTech - automobile floormats taken to a whole new level. Weather-Tech claims that their mats are laser-fitted to every individual make and model of car and, in my experience, that rings true. Their mats fit perfectly.
“It’s a great product, particularly if you have kids with muddy feet,” says Gary Prestopino, a car parts analyst at Barrington Research Associates.
Interested? You can order WeatherTech products on their website in any one of 11 languages for shipment to 84 countries around the world.
WeatherTech is a good example for several of my usual themes. They market aggressively, using a balanced combination of the internet and print publications to get their story in front of buyers.
They produce a premium product and price it as such, selling on quality and not at all on price.
They’ve identified a need in a niche market and filled it. At the same time, they are steadily expanding their product line, both vertically (other automotive accessories) and horizontally (other types of mats).
Today, however, I’m here to talk about coffee. Coffee? Yes, coffee. Bear with me.
As I mentioned before, you can order Weather-Tech mats from just about anywhere, for shipment to just about any place. You can also buy them in person at thousands of authorized dealers throughout the U.S. and 36 other countries.
It came as a surprise to me that I could also go straight to their factory to pick up my order in person. When a friend bought a new SUV, I decided to do just that.
The “will-call” option at most warehouses isn’t a particularly enjoyable experience. It normally means pulling into a loading dock intended for semi-trucks, finding the shipping clerk and interrupting his management of tons of freight while he runs down your little order.
I didn’t expect WeatherTech’s spotless factory showroom or customer service reps lined up like grocery store cashiers. I certainly didn’t expect coffee.
My friend took a number, waited five minutes, then gave her name and address to the service rep.
“It will take a few minutes to bring up your order from the warehouse,” he informed us cheerfully. “Please visit our coffee shop while you’re waiting.” Sure enough, there was a fully equipped espresso bar on one end of the showroom.
I do enjoy a good cup of coffee. “Dark roast, please,” I said.
“Certainly, sir. Would you like to try our pistachio muffins?”
They did look rather enticing. “Sure, I’ll have one … say, this is really good! How much do I owe you?”
“Nothing, sir. The coffee shop is complimentary for our customers.”
Wow. The coffee is better than at the major chains — and it’s free.
My companion ordered tea, and we pleasantly passed another 15-20 minutes until her order was filled. It wouldn’t have been so pleasant if we were standing in an unairconditioned loading dock.
I do have a spotlessly clean factory and I do offer eight varieties of coffee to my visitors, but WeatherTech has me beat. I don’t plan to hire a barista anytime soon.
Customers buy from WeatherTech due to their superior product, not because of a pistachio muffin. Nonetheless, they’ve found one more way to make a good impression.
The moral of our story: the next step in our endless quest to improve customer satisfaction may not involve enhancements to our core product or service. It might just be a better cup of coffee.
Steve Johnson, president and CEO of Copresco in Carol Stream, Ill., is an executive with 40 years of experience in the graphic arts. He founded Copresco, a pioneer in digital printing technology and on-demand printing, in 1987. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.copresco.com