Since social media became a mainstay in our lives, we have heard countless horror stories of people being hurt by a company. Twitter is the best place for someone to complain about a particular brand, but how often do we think about the companies who have improved our lives. In today’s post I want to talk to you about the car wash.
Yes the car wash. Where I live, we have 4 car washes with in a 5 minute drive of my house. I have tried them all, and I always end up at the same one. Nope, not the cheapest one, but the one I think offers the best customer service. Let me explain.
A car wash is a car wash is a car wash right? Just like a steakhouse is a steakhouse! Think about the reasons you go to the same steak place over and over. It probably has something to do with the food. It may also have something to do with the atmosphere. But think harder – it probably is the staff treating you well at your steak place. That’s customer service! Peter Shankman goes into a lot of detail about Morton’s steak house in his book Zombie Loyalists. He discusses how at Mortons when you make your reservation they ask you if it’s a special occasion. Say it was your grandmothers birthday. When you get to the restaurant you will see at the top of the menu “Happy Birthday Grandma”. These small touches are what makes Morton’s a great restaurant.
So back to my car wash. For those who don’t know I drive a Hyundai Veloster
This particular car has a dual exhaust, and the tips are chrome. Many places will just run the car through the wash and then dry it. This leaves some dirt in some places. This one place actually takes the time to wipe down the exhaust tips to bring back the chrome shine. When I first went there I didn’t expect it to happen, and then while I was waiting for my cue to get my car I saw it happen. I was shocked! Of all the car wash places I’ve been to over the years none of them have even thought about going that extra mile. This is now my car wash place of choice.
Notice how I talk about the act that happens. It’s not about price. If you try to compete on price you will always lose. Think I’m lying about that? Read this story about how two pizza places in New York City attempted to undersell the place across the street. They got their slices down to 75¢ a slice! The place across the street finally closed it’s doors, losing it’s place and all its customers.
In the world of competition you need to stand out. This must be done by providing the best customer service ever! Here are some industry examples I came up with (literally as I’m typing this):
• Sit down restaurant – have the manager introduce themselves to every guest/table in between the appetizer and main course. Let them know if there is anything they need they should ask the manager.
• Service industry (such as IT services) – send follow up emails making sure the client was happy with the service (you can automate this but make sure you read them and respond if they are negative). Offer free hours for referrals, and provide the BEST service to both the referral and the referee. Now you have two people talking about you in the best way
• Selling a product online – send a hand written thank you note. Include a picture of the product they just bought being immortalized (if you are selling blenders, put a halo on it and have your staff around it like it’s a treasure from god). Your customer will love the note, and remember your company next time they need to buy something
• Gym – are you a trainer at the gym? Provide your clients a fresh towel and a cold bottle of water when they arrive free of charge. Show them things they can do at home, so they can workout with you. Then offer the client a chance to bring a different friend each session.
All of these examples are ways you go out of your way to provide the best customer service you can.
Have a great story about customer service? Share it in the comments below.