Friday, July 15, 2011

Customer Service alive and well

Just when I think exceptional customer service (ECS) is dead from the neck upwards – despite the fact I teach it – I am sometimes positively impressed by fabulous, though small, practical examples of ECS shown by front line staff working on their own initiative.

Yesterday I drove my car into Nationwide Tyres in Coventry because I had a flat tyre. I’d managed to get enough air in the tyre to drive to my local Nationwide Tyres about a mile from home.

The young tyre fitter who dealt with my enquiry removed the offending wheel and spent around 20 minutes trying to find the air leak. Despite his best efforts he failed to find any problem with the tyre. So he inflated the tyre to 32 psi and said I could go back later in the day and he would check it just to discover whether or not there was a puncture. I dutifully arrived back at Nationwide Tyres some 5 hours later and he tested the pressure finding it had not reduced. Whilst at it he looked and tested all four tyres.

All in all he probably spent 45 minutes on my problem in my two visits.

I asked him how much I owed him, expecting a minimum charge of maybe £30. The young man shrugged and said;

‘It’s ok mate – I’ve done nothing’

I happily gave him £10 and told him to get himself a drink.

“I’ve done nothing” … And yet he did an awful lot for his own reputation and for the reputation of his company.

How amazing it is that people at the front line know so much more about real customer care than managers far removed from the front line.

This tyre fitter made a positive impression on me and I now have a positive impression of his company. I firmly believe it was intuitive and not taught – he was just good at looking after his customer.