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Showing results for tags 'The customer experience'.
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Last Wednesday I brought my wife’s car in for a few repairs: a T belt, a check engine light repair, spark plugs and a few other services. The car also needed front struts and mounts. The car would hit really hard over any road imperfection. The check engine light was related to a fuel problem, and I noticed a lack of power at times. As I drove the car home after all the repairs were done, I could notice a big difference in the way the car ran and handled on the road. Yesterday my wife took the car out, went to lunch with my daughter and then out to the mall and I few other errands. She had the car the entire day. When she returned home, I asked her, “So, do you notice a difference with the way your car runs and handles on the road?” With a straight face she says, “Not really”. Not really? I could not believe my ears. How could something so obvious to me, go unnoticed by someone who drives the car every day! This got me thinking about how our customers. We work so hard and at times perform technological magic. How many of our customers notice a difference when they get their car back? I would bet many do not. It all goes back to what the customer CAN and WILL notice. And that’s how they are treated, the look of you shop, your customer bathroom, your techs, how clean the waiting area is, and the appearance of the car when they get it back. Unfortunately, the hard work under the hood or under the car simply goes unnoticed.
My manager took a few days off, so I decided to hang around the shop and waiting area, just to see if I could help in any way. I overhead a customer during write up say, “ The car is running great, I know I am do for services, but I’ll take my chances. If the engine blows, I rather replace the engine”. We have all heard the foolishness that has come out the mouth of some people, but this statement particularly disturbed me. When asked how long he was keeping the car, he replied by saying at least another 12 years! 12 years and this guy does not want to maintain it? By the way, he drives a Toyota Matrix with 121,000 miles on the clock and he commutes to NYC each day, a round trip of nearly two hours. I decided to work with the tech and advisor just to see how this progresses. Looking at his service history, he needed a 120k service, and the road test revealed a very bad brake vibration. After we completed the multi point, I asked him to come into the shop to show him the brakes and discuss the 120k service. With his 4 year old son by his side, he said, “I’ll wait on that, just finish the oil change” I said, “Are you sure about that? You said you wanted another 12 years out of this car. You commute every day to the city, your brakes are not safe, you have young children, a wife and if something happens to the engine you rather replace it; an engine that will cost of 5,000 bucks; is that what you are telling me?” He was silent for a few seconds and I was fearful I said the wrong things. He replied, “Well, when you put it like that, I guess I need to listen to you”. We went ahead with the services, and the brakes, and I explained to him that while no one can predict the future, the only way to insure that you will decrease the odds of a major failure is through preventive maintenance. I am not suggesting that my approach was the best, in terms of speaking to people. I have known this customer since he was in grade school and perhaps I got away with more than most can.