Go the extra mile
Randy, mechanical engineering manager for a manufacturing firm, told Session 5 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“In November 2006, my wife and our children, ages four and less than a year, and I were about to leave on a 2-hour drive up to my parent’s house for an after Thanksgiving dinner. By the time we got everything ready to go, we were running late. As we got to the car, I noticed the right rear tire was flat. I inspected the tire and found it had a screw in it, but determined it would hold air long enough to get to the Les Schwab in Longview. Since I purchased the tires from Les Schwab, I knew they would fix the tire free of charge and I didn’t want to drive two hours on the mini spare, so I put air in the tire and headed for the tire store. The store was packed with people waiting to get snow tires put on due to the prediction of imminent winter weather. I asked the counterperson how quickly they could repair my tire so I could get back on the road as I was traveling a distance and was already running late. He told me our wait would be two hours because they were slammed with customers waiting for snow tires and I was at the back of the line. I expressed my dissatisfaction in their customer service because unlike the people waiting for tires, I had no intent on being at Les Schwab that day. He told me that I would have to wait the two hours. I spoke with the store manager who told me the same thing. Being a bit upset at the lack of customer service, I went out to my vehicle, and with my jack and lug wrench removed the tire and took it inside, hoping that this would speed up the process. They told me that I was not supposed to remove the tire myself at their facility, which only added to my frustration. Removing the tire myself did cut my wait time down to about an hour, then I had to put it back on my car. Before I left the store, I made sure to tell the store manager how disappointed I was in their poor customer service and that Les
Schwab, who I had been previously a return customer, had lost any future repeat business from me. I went on to tell him that any chance I get, I will inform others of their lack of customer service. Eleven years later, I am still telling this story because ‘Boy was I mad!’
“The lesson I learned from this experience is the importance of providing excellent customer service. The action I call you to take is see things from your customer’s point of view and go the extra mile to satisfy your customers. The benefit you will gain is the satisfaction of knowing that you have happy, loyal customers that will promote your business to friends and strangers alike and continue to do business with you.”
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