Integrity & Gratitude: an Interview with Jay

April 1, 2014

When Jay wanted to share his excitement about his Super Service award, his marketing team at Network9 jumped right in to interview him.

Jay Sofer IS Lockbusters. And that’s saying a lot, considering he is the highest rated New York City locksmith on Yelp (with over 183 reviews and counting), as well as the winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award for the past 3 years.

So what does this one-man-band have to say about being recognized?

Network9 recently sat down with Jay to ask him just that.

N9: What do awards and 5 star reviews mean to you?

JAY: It means that the business practice I put into place works. Integrity works. I offer honesty and transparency in a field that really lacks it.

N9: Tell me about your business practice.

JAY: Like so many skilled tradesman – mechanics, plumbers, tow truck operators – there is a lot of opportunity to take advantage of customers. We get called when there is an emergency, when you are most vulnerable. Because of this, locksmiths have gotten a bad rap.  I’ve tried to change that. I offer honesty and transparency in a field that really lacks it.

N9: How do change that?

JAY: I don’t see myself as a hero, or someone coming to the rescue who deserves congratulations or that I deserve whatever I can take. I feel honored that I’m in the position to help people on a daily basis. I take that responsibility seriously. One customer joked my tagline should be, “We don’t screw you because you’re already screwed.”

N9: So how do you feel when you read a 5 star Yelp review? I just read one that ended with “Jay is a scrupulous and cool guy."

JAY: Nice. Endorsements from the people I’ve worked with mean everything to me. This review based-market has changed everything. Consumers are more educated and have the power. They take the time to look around and that means something that they chose me. When I read a great review I feel gratitude. It takes time to write a review. That’s the best referral I can ask for.

N9: Ever get a negative review?

JAY: I think I’ve gotten 2 or 3. Usually based on a lack of communication.  I understand. It reminds me not to leave anyone hanging.

N9: You mentioned that your customers are often in emergency situations and are vulnerable.

JAY: Yeah, think about it, you call a locksmith after a break-up or after firing a dog walker or housekeeper, or because you left your keys in a cab. You are desperate, upset, angry maybe. I had one customer who joked that my tagline should be, “We don’t screw you because you’re already screwed.”

N9: What do you consider your pinnacle of success, your Oscar, your Heisman?

JAY: A Lockbusters franchise. If I can duplicate my business model and give it to another skilled tradesman in another town or city, that would be it. To give someone a winning formula so they can feel successful, that would be really meaningful.

— The Lockbusters Team

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