Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lessons in Customer Service: Brought to you, Free of Charge, by the Century Plant

Agave americana -- more commonly known as the "century plant" -- is an agave plant originally found in Mexico which has made its way into many other notable places, such as Australia, Europe, India and San Diego's very own... Valley Center, California.

Everyone knows the poppy is the state flower of California but if you took a drive through the beautiful town of Valley Center, you might just think the century plant was Valley Center's own favorite. They are, quite literally, everywhere you look when you're driving through.

Despite the fact this beautiful plant has the word "century" in its name, they actually only live up to 30 years and can span up to 13 feet in length. Not a force to be reckoned with!

What truly fascinates me about this majestic plant is right before its life comes to an end, about a year before it calls it quits, the century plant flowers and produces a beautiful bouquet of flowers which can reach up to 26 feet in the air. It's an amazing and impressive sight for anyone to see, especially since it only occurs just prior to the plant's ultimate and inevitable demise.
Every time I see a century plant in bloom, I'm always taken aback by the sheer beauty of the "tree" which sprouts so high into the air. I can't help but think that this will ultimately be the last and final showing this plant will offer to the world. But, even though we know another plant will eventually come along, we also realize it might be another 30 years until we see another beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Isn't this a blog about solar?
So, what does this have to do with solar?

Maybe this is a reasonable comparison and maybe it's not (feel free to let me know in the comments section below), but every time I see a century plant in bloom, I can't help but think this is how we solar contractors in the industry should be treating our customers. With every interaction, we should strive to put our best foot forward and leave our clients with an incredibly positive and uplifting experience. We certainly have a lot to learn from the century plant. Just as it offers its most beautiful offering upon its exit from the scene, the expectation for customer service really should be no different. Under promise, over deliver, exceed expectations, repeat.  

The more solar contractors who show care to our customers while building trust, the more systems will be installed and the greater potential to harness the power of the sun for future generations. Now let's get out there and plant some seeds! Just like the case with the century plant, it may be a few decades before the true potential of our actions are truly realized, but the sooner we all begin to make positive changes, the sooner we can begin to realize the positive result of our actions.

Pey Shadzi 
Operations Manager
Cosmic Solar, Inc. 
(760) 532-9712


  1. Is this plant used for making Agave which is a sweetner?

  2. Hey jack,

    I've often commented that our readers are among the smartest, most intuitive individuals around; you're no exception!

    Agave americana is indeed used in the production of agave, the sweetener.

    Thank you for reading!