Thursday, June 15, 2006

Customer Service Still Makes a Difference

I recently discovered that one of the tires on my car had a slow leak. After filling it with air once, then realizing a few days later that it was still leaking (i.e. it wasn't dirt in the valve) I took it off the car and attempted to patch it (there were two nails and one screw in it!) The patch seemed to hold, so I drove it to work the next day. At the end of the day, however, I realized that it was still leaking - and I was leaking explitives...

A friend of mine here at work, David Thomas suggested that Discount Tire will patch your tire for free, as long as you take it off the car and bring it in. Needless to say, I was skeptical and figured that there had to be some string attached. So I called them and they confirmed that patching a flat tire was free.

I brought the tire in at the end of the day to the Discount Tire location right near my house. And they were slammed, with people bringing in as many as four flat tires to be fixed... and their bays were full. The guy behind the counter asked me if I could leave the tire, which was fine since I have a full-sized spare. I left the tire and went home with a claim ticket.

The next day I stopped by at the end of the day on the way home again to pick up the tire. I parked the car and started walking across the parking lot to the office. A young guy came out from one of the bays and greeted me, and asked what I needed. I mentioned picking up a tire, and he took my claim ticket, checked to see if it was done, and then offered to take my keys and put the tire on the car. I gave him the keys and sat down in their waiting area for about 10 minutes.

They drove my car around to right near where I was sitting, and when I came out, the guy said "have a nice day!". Needless to say, this kind of overall customer service seems to be out of the ordinary. It reminds me, though, that I also see that kind of thing at the new Raley's Supermarket where the young clerks offer me a shopping cart, and offer to take my groceries out to my car after I make my purchase. All I can say is this: it matters. I like this kind of thing and I think most people do. I strive to offer that kind of service with my string quartet and it seems to make a difference to the customer.

I'd like to hear your stories about good customer service - maybe by spreading the good news, we can make a difference.


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