And the question burning on my mind: Why aren’t more companies working hard to earn your business, but seem intent on driving you insane, instead?
We took our car into Les Schwab, the local tire chain in the Pacific Northwest, this morning to have our brakes checked. When you pull into their parking lot, one of their mechanics runs – literally runs – out to greet you and ask what you need.
If you have a nail in your tire – like I did 3 times this summer, they have you pull into a bay; they repair it right then and there and send you on your way with no charge. In and out in less than 5 minutes and their employees are friendly, courteous and have a great attitude.
Today, same deal. They ran out, took a look at the brakes immediately – and told us we needed new front brakes. We knew that was coming and had already checked with the dealer, where we sometimes get repairs. The price at the dealer was higher and you have to make an appointment. We left the car and they’ll get it done in the next 90 minutes.
Every time we leave there, or one of us goes in, inevitably we tell the story of what happened because we’re impressed and because leaving a business feeling that way is less and less common.
You could say we’re impressed in direct proportion to how unimpressed – even put out – we are so many other places, like the ones that make you feel like you’re interrupting their day when they have to talk to you.
I don’t get it. Why do people make it so damn hard to do business with them? Don’t they understand that if you treat people well, they’re likely to come back and even tell other people about their experience? Or don’t they care? Hmm…I don’t know.
In my book, this is a total no-brainer, but apparently they’re not reading my book!
It seems simple enough. Tim Murphy, a great marketer and client of mine owns an industrial supply company. He’s crazy about customer service – it’s safe to say he’s obsessed. He proves it’s a top-down deal, because his employees are all about it. You can tell when you call and talk to them.
Tim and I have commiserated about the state of customer service. We were talking one day and I told him about my Saturday experience at a garden center where I was looking the woman behind the counter right in the eye, money in hand, while she chatted away on the walkie-talkie to another employee about where to put whatever just came in and some problem she was having with some machine and on and on – I felt my jaw dropping further and further.
Really? I was right in front of her with money in hand. She didn’t even bother to say I’ll be right with you. Instead she looked at me with a bit of a challenge in her eye – like I was interrupting her day.
OK. Enough said. Call me some time. I’ll treat you really well. Work with me and I’ll roll out the red carpet. I just think it’s the right way to do business.