It’s been a crazy year already. Health care is ever-changing, taxes are due, the phones are ringing off the wall, there are emails, texts and customers … STOP. Back up. Is that what it has become? Customers are part of the annoyance of business?
My 17-year-old niece had an accident two days ago (as I write this). Hit a possum running across the road. She swerved as she hit it, then overcorrected. She then went into a deep ditch, hitting a culvert and some large trees. The car is totaled. She’s OK, physically. Just some bumps and bruises from the airbag and seat belts, thank goodness. But emotionally she is a mess.
Emotionally, her parents (my sister and brother-in-law) are equally a wreck. What I mean by this is it really hit home that their daughter could have been injured or worse. I just got off the phone with my brother-in-law about the car. He realizes it’s a total loss, but what he said struck me: “One minute I’m sympathetic toward my daughter; the next, I’m angry she wasn’t more careful.” He continued, saying: “For the past two days, it’s all I can think about.”
This recent event made me think … Are we too busy with day-to-day operations to really care for our customers? Do we really extend customer service past washing the vehicle before pickup? I mean, let’s face it, automotive repair is an “emotional” experience.
When someone walks through your door, they are either very upset because someone just hit their vehicle, or maybe they just hit someone else. Maybe they walked out to go to work and there was a large “puddle” under the engine, or their vehicle just quit, broke down, won’t start, won’t stop, ______ … you fill in the blank.
Statistics show that for most of us, our vehicle is the second-largest investment, next to our house. So back to the emotions. I’m sure all of us are saying, “We pride ourselves in great customer service.” Well, just one question: Is that your opinion, or your customer’s?By Ron Nagy, AAM, Chairman
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