“Customer Relations 101” as taught by Paul

As I close in on 65 years old, I think about high school and a failed attempt at college and wonder..…What would I have thought back then if someone had told me I would be making my living cutting holes in plastic for spray paint stencils? (In the shape of letters and arrows etc. for marking roads, taxiways and parking lots). I don’t know what I would have thought then but I’m so glad I did it. Also that I have been in this business for the last 17 years. I continue to learn more every day.

I’m proud of what we’ve done in these 17 years and proud of where we came from. My stepfather, Paul Woods started Pavement Stencil Company in 1990. My wife Beth and I bought into it in 2004. We had the best teacher and example ever, to get us going.  Paul was a retired Army veteran. Most of his adult life was spent in the Army. He was in both Vietnam and Korea.

Thinking about what I learned from Paul and my time in this business, there is one thing that is most important. Taking care of customers!  It’s not all about the money. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be here if we weren’t getting paid, but that’s not what I mean.

First of all, from Paul I learned to treat our customers with respect. The world I came from before working for and with him unfortunately was not that way. Paul taught us to handle any problem immediately. Here, if a customer has a problem, we WILL help them, even if we weren’t the cause of their problem, and especially if we were. If you are our customer, you will NEVER have to chase anyone or wait to get an answer or a problem resolved. We are here to help you, not the other way around.

We realize every customer is a gift. We could not survive without ALL of you! So many times in my life I’ve noticed when I’m trying to purchase something, whoever I’m dealing with makes me feel like I’m bothering them.  Like I’m keeping them from something else.  We WILL never let that happen here.  Life’s too short to give your hard earned money to someone that doesn’t appreciate what you’re doing for them.  If they’re rude to you on the phone or slow to answer emails before you buy imagine what they’ll be like if you have a problem after your purchase!!

A lot of our customers are looking for custom stencils, large alphabet stencils, (or numbers) etc, but sometimes, they’re not sure what they want. Sometimes they aren’t even sure of the size of the area the stencil is going in. SO WHAT! Their job is not to know about the stencil world, OURS  IS!!  We will talk you through it and figure out what you need, even if you’re not sure.

If you want an American flag stencil, we will make it. Metal stencils, no problem, parking lot stencils, top of the list!! We are happy to make them for you with no hassle, no one hurrying you. No one will EVER make you feel like you’re putting them out or bothering them. You’re why we are here!

We also make a lot of large stencils, especially large letter stencils, like for airfield marking. You can bet our airport customers and airfield striping contractors won’t put up with being treated poorly, nor should they!! Customers and their needs are the lifeblood of Pavement Stencil Company.

Paul was an extraordinary man. We lost him a few years ago. Pavement Stencil Company has grown a lot since he passed not only in number of employees and amount of business but also in the way we make and create stencils. I’m very sorry that he didn’t live quite long enough to see where we are today. I know he would have been proud. Either way, I’m very proud to have known him and to be part of the team that keeps the company he created going! And our team is proud to keep his way of doing business. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.    Thanks Paul!


~Calvin Bell