Driven to Delight: Mike Wehner Writes the Book on Customer Service
A simple Amazon search reveals an absolute bevy of books written about customer service. If these authors are to be believed, customer service is both an art and a science. And that makes perfect sense. Intuitively, we know that the people who provide the best service – whether it’s an insurance broker or the rep who answers the late night something-is-wrong-with-my-cable call – engender loyalty and have the technical know-how to get the job done.
If you’ve ever met Project Executive Mike Wehner, you know him to be a rare amalgam of both. For an industry as service-oriented as construction, Mike is a true gem. Not only has Mike established himself as one of North Carolina’s most trusted retail and corporate interiors experts, but he has also cultivated one of the strongest client followings in the business.
To understand why Mike has become the first call for countless clients, you need to hit the VHS rewind button to a different time and place. Upstate, New York in the 1980s to be exact, where neon is all the rage and New Kids on the Block are, well, new. Mike’s father, a residential construction mason, took his son to countless home sites and taught him the industry building blocks before he was allowed to date. The summers he spent with cinder and clay would serve as the foundation for his entire approach to project management. But for a time, Mike wasn’t entirely aware that a passion for building was blossoming.
You don’t need to look any further than the diploma that hangs in Mike’s office to understand just how unaware he was. Although he continued to secure part-time masonry work throughout high school and college, Mike graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in environmental science. It’s hard to avert destiny, though. A trip visiting friends in North Carolina coupled with the then widespread availability of industry work was all it took to return Mike to his roots.
If you’ve eagerly awaited a slice of wood-fired bliss at Brixx Pizza in Huntersville, NC you’ve unwittingly enjoyed the fruits of Mike’s labor. If you’ve ever stepped off the LYNX light rail and into the hub of activity that is Charlotte’s Epicentre, Mike’s handiwork spans as far as the eye can see. He’s also become the builder of choice for corporate clients like TIAA-CREF, First Citizens Bank and Compass Group USA.
Under Mike’s leadership, Balfour Beatty has enjoyed repeat successes with each of these clients. Although the renovation to Compass’s Global Headquarters, for example, was Mike’s very first job with Balfour Beatty, he quickly developed a relationship with the global foodservice leader and has marinated it to perfection over the years. Compass knows it is important to select a construction partner that follows its own recipe for success: great people + great service = great results. And they certainly had that in spades with Mike, a fact affirmed when the project won a first place Eagle Award at the 2014 Associated Builders & Contractors Excellence in Construction competition.
“Mike is very customer focused and makes us feel as if we are the only client he supports, which I know is not the case,” praises Marty Scannell, senior director, real estate and facilities for Compass Group North America Division. “He is always available and accommodating and does a great job of pointing out value engineering alternatives.”
It would seem that if anyone was qualified to write a book on customer service, it would be Mike Wehner. But he’s the first to tell you that his secret is really quite simple. “I treat every project like I’m building it in my own home,” he asserts. “I want all my clients to know they are my number one priority.”
If Mike ever gets tired of construction, and we’re pretty sure he never will, perhaps his will be the next best seller on customer service to hit the shelves. Until then, we’re pretty glad he’s on the other end of those owner calls.