Meet Your Naples Mr. Appliance Owner
Bob Tuck Shares a Bit About the Company & His Personal Life
Bob Tuck began working for Dill’s Appliance, a local General Electric Appliance Dealer, in 1980, when he was 16 years young. He would work with them for the next 7 years, learning the service industry from the owner, Will Dill, the very best. January of 1985, his life would change forever, as he followed God’s lead, joining the Army as an Airborne Infantryman. For the next two years, he would fall under the command of then Capt. Mike Ferriter, also his RTO, who recently retired as a 4 Star General. In January of 1987, Bob would be honorably discharged due to a back injury before returning to Dill’s Appliance, with new owners in place. It became obvious to Bob that the new owners wouldn't last long.
In the summer of 1988, they would not only close their doors, but also offer Bob their phone numbers as well as their entire service inventory of tools, equipment and parts included, free of charge! With reputable local phone numbers of 20 years, appliance magnets and stickers everywhere, overnight he had a full plate. Bob immediately opened a small place and called it the “One Stop Home Appliance Center”, selling new Magic Chef Appliances and used appliances. He also began servicing all brands vs GE only. Almost immediately, Nita, his wife, left her parents’ pest control company to join Bob, after having managed their 13 truck operation for years.
In the fall of 1991, while at business conference, Maytag approached Nita and Bob, requesting they join their Maytag Home Appliance Center family, requiring a move to a much larger, more visible store front. During the summer of 1992, they opened their One Stop Maytag Home Appliance Center. For the next 10 years, Bob and Nita accepted many awards from Maytag, in recognition of their success in retail. In 2000, an incoming president of Maytag shared his excitement in seeing that “all” retailers would have access to Maytag, to include Sears, Sam’s, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. This was the beginning of the end for Maytag Home Appliance Centers nationwide. In 2004, Bob began entertaining the idea of the Mr. Appliance system. In preparation to leave retail, Bob dragged Nita to Mr. Appliance’s corporate headquarters on his second visit. The Tucks left there having no doubt that this was to be a great match, mainly due to their character as well as their Code of Values.
Bob and Nita committed to join their team and established a start date in October of 2004. On August 13, 2004 their exit plan would be executed in a way they could have never imagined. Hurricane Charley made landfall and passed over their store, reducing it to rubble. All was lost, except Nita’s office in the far rear corner where not even a paper was out of place. “It was amazing!” says Bob, “It confirmed that God had bigger plans for us.” A phone call to Mr. Appliance later that same day would bring peace to their decision to join the team, as Mr. Appliance Corporate would immediately begin offering and providing support to the Tuck’s community, as well as their family. While August 13, 2004 remains a day of horror for many, for Bob and Nita it remains a day of blessing. Their journey with Mr. Appliance began simultaneously with reinvesting in their community and helping others back to their feet.
Why Customers Choose Mr. Appliance of Naples
Bob says word of mouth is the single biggest reason, but also because of the image that Mr. Appliance communicates through its communities, both personally and professionally. Certainly the “Code of Values” Mr. Appliance upholds is at the forefront of customer’s decisions to choose their services, even over a “mom & pop” setup. Mr. Appliance is also home to an honest culture, with team members holding each other accountable as well as corporate holding the company as a whole accountable.
Mr. Appliance Service Specialties
Dryer vent cleaning has become a huge part of their business. Currently, the Tucks have a son-in-law and a future son-in-law who take care of their dryer vent cleaning chores, both in Florida and North Carolina. Bob believes that dealing with people’s lives, their homes, and their property is a very serious matter and should be handled by the very best.
His Values & How They Impact His Business
Courage, honesty, and faith are Bob’s top three values. “In my opinion,” Bob states, “not even little white lies have a place in business. We must have the courage to share the truth with each and every customer, having faith that they will again trust in us for many years to come.”
The Most Difficult & Rewarding Parts of the Job
Bob finds both hiring and firing employees to be the most difficult parts of the job. However, watching team members grow in areas that are necessary is one of the most rewarding. Bob enjoys helping his employees live happier healthier lives.
The Importance of the Mr. Appliance Pricetag
While Mr. Appliance is not the most expensive servicer in town, Bob says they certainly do not wish to be the cheapest either. He explains, “In our early years with Maytag, this quote by John Ruskin would be part of our décor on a national level, clearly explaining the rules of business:
"It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better." - John Ruskin
Notes for Prospective Customers
In Bob’s opinion, not even “little white lies” have a place in business. He believes in having the courage to share the truth with each and every customer, having faith that they will again trust in his services for many years to come. As with any relationship, personal and professional, the company is going to fall short of the customer’s expectations from time to time. His team hopes that a disappointed customer will be courageous enough to forgive them and allow the team to earn their trust again.
Awards & Certifications
The awards that Nita and Bob are most proud of are, in his words, certainly not those “most notable”. Most notable would be their 2008 Franchisee of the Year award, a monumental accomplishment by any standards. Next would be his wife, Nita’s, 2013 Woman of the Year and his manager, Jim Artell’s, 2009 Technician of the Year award. Bob also adds, “Nita and I have many awards more meaningful for our excellence in leadership as well as excellence in mentoring that are far less notable. But most rewarding for us are those conversations that we have with other business owners from around the world who are hurting and in need of advice, inspiration and courage. Often, they are simply in need of encouragement from someone who has shared their pain.”