I recently moved into a new house. The first day consisted of closing on the house I sold, followed by the new house closing. Afterward, as I approached my new home, I noticed my brand new refrigerator sitting in my yard with the door handles lying on the driveway. And, the people delivering my new toy were standing in my living room looking at doors trying to decide how they were going to get this monster into my kitchen.

I was slightly annoyed at the sight of seeing my brand new purchase lying in the grass unattended while they strolled around my house. Regardless, they finally positioned my fridge in my kitchen and hooked up the water for the icemaker. As the delivery team walked out the front door, one of the men nonchalantly said, “Hey, it may leak but these things do that from time to time.”

The next day brought more vendors in and out of my house to finish the installation of my utility and security services. My internet installer arrived on time, but didn’t say much — he just walked in and got to work. Once finished, the installer confirmed my Internet was working and left, yet failed to put the modem and router on my bookshelf so it would be hidden as I had requested. The modem was on the floor with wires everywhere, although everything was working as expected, I spent that morning cleaning up the web of wires.

The next visitor arrived promptly, showed me his security company ID badge, and quickly went to work. He involved my entire family in every aspect of the installation process, presenting the package we had agreed to, and even offered some options that we could consider that would enhance our security. Although I knew he was selling me, the impression that this person genuinely cared for the safety of my family left an indelible mark on me.

At the conclusion of the security install, the specialist asked if his manager could come to the house and inspect his work. Although I was ready to get back to the task of moving into my house, I welcomed the extra attention to my home. The supervisor inspected the specialist’s work. Once the supervisor inspected the specialist’s work and they were ready to leave, my wife suddenly invited them to join us for lunch and enjoy some of her famous chicken salad. Afterward, when I asked her why she offered lunch, she said, “Of all the service people that came and left our house over the course of two days, the extra attention the home security team provided was the only truly memorable experience.”

All experiences big and small can be memorable by going the extra mile. It’s not the product that necessarily sets one vendor apart from others. The same holds true for dealers considering what vendor services to purchase for their dealership. My move-in experience reminded me that each and every customer should be made to feel they are special, despite our busy schedules, or despite appointment quotas that need to be reached. Consumers look for service providers that genuinely take an interest in their needs and goals. Look for companies that will partner with your organization to provide solutions to enhance and elevate your dealership’s culture, meet your goals, and provide the results you seek. Make sure your partnerships are striving for chicken salad, and if they deliver, invite them to join you.