By Jon Swanson
We have a local mechanic. He’s a nice guy. We’ve talked often over the last few years, more often than I would like some months.
He does the work. He’s nearby. He’s friendly. But almost every time there is work to be done…I have to go back. Something is missed. A bill is incorrect, one direction or the other. There is a drip of fluid from not wiping off the frame after an oil change.
And there is always an explanation, but there is always something.
Most recently it was to fix a transmission fluid leak. He’d replaced the radiator, hoses, and a major gasket. It was a large and expensive bill. But then I noticed the puddle of fluid.
I thought it was a small leak, a pint or two. It took 3 quarts to fill it. The problem, he said, was that the radiator came with a loose fitting. “which they sometimes do.”
We were glad we had stopped before taking another trip, and having our radiator ruined. But the nearness of the major failure made me think about what he can do.
1. If you know there may be a problem with a product sometimes, check it every time. And then tell me what you averted rather than having to explain it later.
2. Double-check your work. If there are things to be tightened, tighten them. If there are possibilities of typos, check for them. If the water might spill from the flower arrangement, make sure it can’t.
3. Take the extra five minutes. Even if this is a rush job or it’s the end of the day, take five more minutes to think.
4. A couple days after the repairs, call me to see how things are. It can’t hurt, it might help.
I’m coming to you out of loyalty. There are chains, there are others, but I come to you. But if you always have to make an excuse…I might, too.
Jon Swanson is your customer, presenting every day perspectives in a new way. Jon also writes at Levite Chronicles.
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Joseph Manna, Infusionsoft says
Customer experience is likely the number one reason why customers provide repeat business to any company. Sometimes, it’s out of necessity, but often it’s loyalty.
My company, Infusionsoft, provides some pretty cool small business marketing software for entrepreneurs. We step back from the sales aspect and provide a consultative approach to the success of their business, instead of the worry of a purchase of software. Customer service, customer loyal and consumer advocacy is at the heart of what we do, which is exactly why we’ve been successful even during the weak economy.
I see many correlations between your story about the mechanic and what we hear from new customers leaving our competitors to us. They were treated in a less than favorable way, and thus, they gave the excuse to our competitors when they gave excuses for poor service.
This is why I love what we do. We help people. We give hope and dreams a foundation for them to come true for small businesses and their fellow employees and entrepreneurs. When you champion the customer, they champion you. :-)
Really good entry, I’ll look forward to more like it.