It’s just automatic! I assess the level of service I receive at every establishment I enter and that’s whether I am making a purchase or if I’m window shopping. Last week I was pleasantly surprised at the level of service I received from a new mechanic shop I used. There were a number of things that stood out to me about this establishment. Let me share a few with you:
- The receptionist was OUTSTANDING! She greeted me in such a professional way. She explained that my car would be given a full service and asked if there were any concerns I’d like to share with them. She smiled pleasantly throughout our interaction and provided me with a tentative time my jeep would be completed. She then inquired if I had arranged a ride to my office or if I would be in need of a drop off. After being advised I would need a drop off, she efficiently orchestrated it and a few minutes later I was at my office.
- The mechanic shop was OUTSTANDINGLY clean! I could not believe it. There were no signs of oil or grease or anything of that nature in the workshop. The walls were clean. There was no dirty equipment lying around. The employees were all neatly dressed in uniforms that had no grease marks or stains. They were neatly groomed, polite young men who were moving around the workshop concentrating on their assigned tasks.
- A few hours after I dropped the jeep off, I received a call from the receptionist advising me that my jeep was almost ready. She however wanted to call to update me on the steps they had taken so far. I was AMAZED. She also advised me that 2 parts needed to be changed and they wanted my permission before changing them out. She advised me of the cost of both and asked whether to proceed.
- When my jeep was ready, I received a call advising me of same and asking if I wanted them to bring the jeep to me. I said yes and then remembered I needed to process the charge to my credit card (I’m all about earning those reward points). The receptionist advised me it would be no problem, they would manually process the charge and the driver would have the slip in hand for my signature when he came to drop the car off.
Now, this is no big name auto shop or car dealership so I was amazed at the level of service I received. It was obvious from the staff interactions, the physical appearance of the mechanic shop and the attention to detail they put into their service deliverables, that the owner of this establishment made providing OUTSTANDING service a top priority. This was further evident by the manner in which a slight billing issue was immediately resolved hassle free.
Regardless of the type of business, providing top notch customer service, exceeding customer expectations and speedy problem resolution all lead to return customers. The goal of any service oriented company is to have repeat and loyal customers. This company has a pretty good recipe for success. This is what I observed:
- They had the right people in the right roles. The receptionist had the personality for the job. She was efficient, pleasant and caring. The mechanics were all professional and proficient. Both employees I interacted with were experts in servicing vehicles like mine. They spoke competently about the needs the vehicle has and also the types of problems experienced when a proper service schedule is not adhered to.
- They provided information proactively. I didn’t need to call to find out what was happening with my jeep. The eliminated the need for any follows up on my behalf by being proactive in providing status updates.
- They obtained my consent before changing parts understanding that it was an additional cost and wanted to be sure I approved of their charges prior to billing me for them.
- They provided solutions to my needs by eliminating the headache of arranging a ride by providing drop off services to my office and also by delivering the car when it was completed. They also provided a quick hassle free resolution to my billing inquiry.
- Their brand was important to them. This was evidenced by how clean not only the building and work areas were and also by the cleanliness and attitude of their employees.
I walked away from this experience a happy customer albeit with a little less change in my pocket. While this is the case, I had no qualms about settling my bill because at the end of the day, I believe I not only received value for my money but I was extremely satisfied with the OUTSTANDING service I received. I’ve proven it not once, not twice but many times, that customers are willing to pay more if the service they receive is worth it and in this case it certainly was.
Here’s a tip to ponder; it doesn’t matter the type of business you run, what matters is the level of service you provide and the common saying that customer service is not a department it is an attitude is absolutely correct.