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.


JOHN O'LEARY said...

You can get a drink for that price? I guess things aren't as bad as I thought across the pond.

Hey, Manchester United played our local "football" team recently. I meant to ask you whom I should root for, knowing your objectivity in all things football. (We lost anyway.)

Trevor Gay said...

Hi John - hope you are well sir .... yep over here you can still get a pint in the right places for less than £3!

My beloved Man United beat your lot 4-1 - I watched the match on TV live at 1am - 3am our time- that is dedication ... or maybe madness ...

United are on a four match tour of the US right now leading up to the start of our new football (that is REAL football) season

drebezel said...

now Man U had outclass Man C again...kudos to them :-)

Scott Peters said...


Hello. Had to come back for more of the Simple Life! We've also enjoyed having some Premier League teams visit the States and pound on the, er I mean football, is really gaining popularity over here.

Stay away from the burning buildings!

Tire changing can also be a dangerous business! Sounds like a good story. Have him write on the blog!!! Be nice to gain a perspective from a young lad that's service oriented.

Cheers my friend. If not for the economy collapsing, I would have met up with you sooner in person :(

Trevor Gay said...

Good to hear from you Scott - sorry for delay in reply!

Life is good - hope you are well. We are free of riots in my city :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Trevor,
Can you contact me via email? Have a question for you.

Carrie Taaca
Higher Level Group

Tyres Castle Bromwich said...

That's great customer service, if only all companies had that mindset and were that trustworthy. Some companies will do nothing and then charge you an unbelievable amount, but it's good to hear that there are still companies out there that you can trust.