|BH Hardware Store Shines up City's Image
By Norma Zager, Courier Staff
Beverly Hills has been fighting a battle against the image of a city unfamiliar with the are of customer service and satisfaction. Pioneer & Lucerne Hardware on Crescent Drive, just south of Little Santa Monica Blvd., has managed to win one for the City by rating kudos and high marks from Consumer Advocate David Horowitz.
David Horowitz received a letter from one of his readers inquiring about a hardware store in Los Angeles where her son, who had recently purchased his first home, could go for reliable service and help.
Horowitz recommended Pioneer & Lucerne to the reader, citing their longstanding reputation for service and quality for the last 26 years.
In a response to a letter from a reader inquiring about a small friendly hardware store for her son to shop at, Horowitz wrote about recently moving to the neighborhood and "taking the bait," to check out all the nice things people were saying about this friendly neighborhood hardware store.
He said the instant he walked into the store to buy some wall anchors, he felt comfortable. The clerk walked him straight to the desired items and although his bill was just over $4, the clerk gave him his card and told him to call if he had any problems. Horowitz said he felt like coming back to the store just to browse for things
to buy. As he walked out, he saw the same contentment on the faces of other shoppers.
According to Horowitz, Pioneer & Lucerne hit the high-water mark on three keys: quality, value and customer service. Shoppers don't want rudeness, lack of respect or excuses for lousy customer service, Horowitz said. Small-business people who treat their customers well get it all back in loyalty and return visits.
Creating an old-fashioned neighborhood hardware store in the heart of one of the world's most glamorous cities is the goal of Jeff Tilem, grandson of the stores founder, who believes hard work and happy employees are the key to a business' success.
Beverly Hills civic leaders like Fred Hayman have expressed their belief there must be a Beverly Hills standard of service, apart from all the others.
Pioneer & Lucerne truly represents what should be the Beverly Hills standard. There is some wonderful service overall, but those who don't have it must shape up, because it's damaging to the community. In Beverly Hills people expect alot, and we don't want customers intimidated," Hayman said.
Jeff credits his buyer Jeff Berman and his employees for much of the store's success.
"It's all about the customers," Tilem said.