There are a few primary concepts that businesses must have in order to be successful. The one we will review today. Here is a hint – it starts with the initials CS.
Customer Service is one of the primary reasons people do not return to a business – or, if you are thinking positively, it is the reason why people return. The components of Customer Service include another CS – Common Sense.
As an owner or an employee in a business, you need to take a step back in your process and think; “What if I was the customer today? Would this make me want to come back for service?”
We had to take our car in for a recall. For this, it must go to an authorized Toyota dealer / repair service center. Turns out, the recall was not something that could be done on this model car, so Toyota kind of forced us into bringing the car in for service that did not need to be done at the dealership… (You can see this is not going to have a happy ending for Toyota. Right?)
After we dropped off the car, the service manager was reviewing the repair order and noticed that car was due for inspection. Customer recovery underway, (well, maybe…) I considered this to be helpful – it would have been best had they noticed this while we were there, but still a phone call is not a bother. “Sure, do the inspection. That would be great!” (It is the last day of the month and it is due…oops.)
Where this whole thing breaks down is when they cannot find current documents for the car. Another phone call. “We can’t find the insurance card.” (No, they did not look in the glove box.) Maybe they were being polite, protecting our privacy, ok. No problem. “It should be in the glove box. It’s ok to look.“) They call back. “We can only find one that expired 1 month ago.” So, okay, that’s a set back – or is it? “We will bring a current card when we pick up the car. Our insurance is in effect. No worries.” But they say… “We can’t do the inspection without it.”
Really? (Definitely not a way to achieve customer recovery…)
A little Common Sense here would have helped… or a little bit of Customer Service… whatever you’d rather call it. They could have called the insurance company to verify insurance… taking that next step to solve the issue. It is what the police would have done if they were looking at an expired piece of paper. (Yes. A piece of paper which really, doesn’t mean anything. We could have had insurance just long enough to get the card, then brought the car in for inspection only with an invalid document…we did not do this, though, because that would really show a lack of lack common sense!)
There is a reason we only bring the car into the dealership for recalls and factory repairs because it never fails; they simply lack what the customer needs and wants. We want to be loyal, but we just can’t be loyal to them.
Where do we give our loyalty? To the local repair shop, owned and managed by someone we have gotten to know pretty well. Someone who will pick us up when we only have one car and the weather is bad – even though we can walk most of the time. Someone with whom we have become friendly – not just because his wife is a friend of mine – but because he does what is needed (for all of his customers (not just his wife’s friends.) Someone we can trust to charge us for a repair that is needed, and to charge a fair price for a quality part – not just charge more because it is a mandated “factory” part.
It starts with a little bit of common sense and that turns into excellent Customer Service which turns into loyal customers.
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl
PS Check out McGlynn’s for great customer service – attention to detail – and yes, common sense.