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Doors of Perception

March 25, 2013
Maddy and Jack hanging at Lowe's

Maddy and Jack hanging at Lowe’s

It wasn’t exactly a mescalin trip like described in the Aldous Huxley story, but it bordered on a surreal customer experience. Doors for my time bending man-cave project were the latest obstacle to its completion, and the myriad of options were daunting. On Saturday afternoon, I entered my local 117,000 square foot Lowe’s to “git ‘er done.” It never hurts to have a cute blond “wing-girl” in tow, and the two male employees in the doors area were instantly smitten with mine. After a couple minutes of introductions and banter with the five year old, one of the gentlemen asked, “what can we help your Papa with today?” “Doors for Papa’s man-cave, but it’s a lady-cave too, ‘cuz Papa said I can go down there, too.” Smiles and laughter were followed by a couple hours of consulting with Millwork Sales Specialist, Jack Coveney. Now, you might think shopping for doors is pretty simple, but when you’re trying to match the decor of an 83 year old Craftsman home, it gets a little complicated. Jack walked me through the doors, right to my solution.

  • Wood species?
  • Stain grade or primed?
  • Height and width?
  • Prehung or slab?
  • Hinge material & color?
  • Door swing – left, right, in, out?
  • Thickness and noise reduction
  • Glass type?

As Jack maneuvered the DOS looking order processing application, we chatted about its Linux origins and the massive IT effort it takes to run an enterprise like Lowe’s. We talked about Kronos. Lowe’s is a customer, as is Home Depot. Both are investing in the customer experience, and it shows. The giant home improvement retailers seem well positioned to benefit from a recent reduction in home inventories. A resurgence in home building will help us all.

It was an interesting and rewarding Saturday afternoon. Lowe’s got a sale, a very happy customer, and this glowing review, all because of the efforts of one engaged and expert employee. Maddy got to sculpt with some wooden blocks and swap stories with Jack. I received a fantastic customer experience, some education, and the doors I needed for a man-cave project that’s turning out to be one hell of a trip.

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