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Value your customers

Dear sir:

Yes, it is me again, the guy with the plaid tam, putting on my “thinking cap,” which isn’t always good.

When a person has some time on his hands, we start thinking back to past years, in most cases. So it is with me.

Many years ago, when the Cottams owned and operated Red Deer Lodge near Nestor Falls, I asked myself, “Why would people work all year to earn two weeks’ vacation, then get in their vehicle and drive hundreds of miles to come to Canada, and why would they have one place in mind (in our case, Red Deer Lodge).

Well, I think it all boiled down to a few facts.

Number one is that we respected their time and number of days they had worked so hard to achieve a vacation. Number two, people like to be treated in a fair way, personal contact, and in a friendly manner. The friendship will automatically come.

Number three, we have to realize what the word customer actually means, and the definition of the same. Many years ago, we found this writing which defines the word customer.

A customer is the most important person in any business—regardless of the kind of business. The customer is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him. A customer is not an interruption of our work, he is the purpose of it. A customer does us a favour when he walks in, we are not doing him a favour by waiting on him.

A customer is part of our business, not an outsider. A customer is not fast money in the cash register, he is a human being with feelings and deserves to be treated with respect. A customer comes to us with his needs and wants, it is our job to fill them.

Finally, a customer deserves the most courteous attention we can give him. He is the life blood of this business. He pays our salary. Without him, we would have to close the doors.

Don’t ever forget it.

I am proud to say that after 50 years of serving the public, we followed those rules. And needless to say, we have countless customers who, over the years, have become our friends. The letters, the cards, and the kind words is proof of us following the rules previously mentioned.

It’s gratifying to us to have many of these previous customers of ours still coming to Red Deer, and stopping and visiting us at Emo after 60 or more years of friendship.


Bob Cottam

(“Rapid Robert”)

Emo, Ont.

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