This week I received some fantastic customer service.
I didn’t initially realise how very good it was, but on reflection it was absolutely superb.
The back story is a bit boring, but in brief, the family bus ran over a nail and popped a tyre. Annoying, but hey, these things happen.
I rang a local tyre fitters. They didn’t have what I needed, but it was 5.29pm on a Friday. They wouldn’t have it until the Monday lunchtime. In the meantime I had to get a three-tonne trolley jack from a friend, jack up the car, remove the offending wheel, release the spare from underneath the boot floor, fit it where the bust one was, bolt it back on, chuck the broken one in the boot, take my friend his jack back, and then go back in the house and moan about how dirty I’d got doing such a grubby job in the rain. I guess the post wheel-change grumbling probably took longer than the wheel change, but hey, I’m entitled, right?
I rolled around on the spare for the weekend and then popped in on the Monday afternoon.
It was still cold and rainy, so I was invited into their little waiting room. It’s only a fairly small business, but they put the TV on for me, let me choose the channel I wanted and got me a coffee (decaf, one sugar; I don’t ‘do’ caffeine). Lovely.
Twenty minutes later and all was done. My keys were handed back to me.
Not only had they fixed the wheel, they had also given that wheel, and the spare that I was keeping on the car due to having deeper tread, a clean. They had removed the centre cap from the wheel I wasn’t going to be using and put it on the wheel back on the car. They had replaced the now spare wheel back under the boot floor and wound it back up into position. They had even put the spare wheel locking nut into a lovely fluorescent little bag and put it into the glove box of my car.
When they gave me my keys back they advised that I may in the future want to pop back in regarding the other tyres. I asked if I needed them replacing now (I thought this would be met with a resounding ‘yes’) but I was told ‘no, not yet, maybe in a few thousand miles or so’.
I left feeling thoroughly looked after, and that I had received good service. I realised that I had quite happily popped my card into the PDQ machine and typed in those 4 numbers with such little thought that I couldn’t actually remember how much the tyre had cost in the first place!
As I drove home I found myself musing as to what my growing little recruitment and training company could learn from the chap who had just given me such great service.
I realised a few things.
They managed my expectations. They couldn’t give me what I needed there and then. It was Friday night as they were closing. But, they arranged when they could, and sure enough, they did.
They did a job for me that I wasn’t equipped to do. I didn’t have the tools or materials, and I wasn’t great company having taken the wheel off in the cold and rain in the first place!
They looked after me. It was nice coffee, and I had control of the TV remote!
The exceeded my expectations in doing all the dirty little clean up jobs afterwards. I didn’t need to put the spare wheel away, or clean up in any way. They had even taken the time to clean the offending wheel, as well as the others they hadn’t even touched.
When they had finished I opened the door for them to sell to me further, and they didn’t take it. But, I’m guessing they know that the service is that good that I will return there immediately if I have further needs. And the free gift fluorescent bag for my locking wheel nut will always remind me of their number if I haven’t got my mobile to hand. I’ve saved their number you see.
Good customer service is fundamental to repeat business. It isn’t just about providing the service, but the overall package and experience; and this is what I particularly enjoyed. This small business won my loyalty very quickly and price was irrelevant. They under-promised and over-delivered, and even had time to add a little actual polish to their work, which in my eyes made them sparkle.
I hope that I can take their excellent approach to customer service and reflect it in what we do here, and never forget the little lesson from my annoying burst tyre!
(and you’ll never guess what; the price was pretty keen too. But it was only today that I remembered to check the receipt!)