Customer service lives

Posted on March 28, 2009



I hate going to the car mechanic. Correction, I loathe it. That’s the main reason I try and work on cars myself. However, when I realized I had a problem outside my scope of abilities, I went to a Midas near my home. After a terrible customer service experience (and 4 hours wasted), I left with my car still broken. I decided to Google for a new car shop. After reading solid reviews, I decided to give this new shop a try called Mechanical Mann Auto Service. Creative Leadership in many ways is another version of customer service because it’s about serving people. So here are the customer service lessons I learned within the first 5 minutes of being at Mechanical Mann:

  • The waiting area was well kept and cozy. It was clean, not cluttered, and there was actual décor. This is unlike the usual messes I find in other shops.
  • The staff was individually pictured on the walls. Very personal.
  • There was a food drive for an outreach stacked in a bin. They also had photos of their community service projects. A business with a cause means a business with a heart.
  • In another corner was a contest for a $200 raffle. This was a very lively place.
  • As we began to talk, the owner stopped me to formally introduce himself, asked how I heard of him, and extended his hand to shake. I was actually being treated with respect. Jim then kept referring to me by name.
  • He thoroughly asked me for a description of the problem writing down everything like a police report- then asked it twice to make sure he got it right.
  • He explained that I am a ‘client’, not a customer. Since I am a client there were two discounts he was going to give me right away. A ‘client’- fascinating.
  • He offered me a free water or soda as I waited for him to finish the paper work.
  • After I was done, he even offered me a shuttle home!
  • Oh, one more thing. In a sea of Google choice, I chose this one because it had the best reviews. People’s opinion matter and it is the great equalizer against bad businesses. Leave a review (I did against Midas).

I don’t know the results are on my car but I already had a great experience. I am even willing to drive farther and pay more for service like this. At this point, I will certainly share this business with my friends.

How do you or your organization stand out? What can you do to create an ‘experience’ not just a service? What do people expect when they first meet you and what can you do to really ‘wow’ them? Are you creating a lively environment in your space?

Most importantly, are people talking about you and spreading it to their friends? Jim is making sure his clients do.