Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Only Reason I come here is because I bought the contract!

   My neighbor told me that the other day when we were talking about car maintenance.  He bought a new car a couple of years ago and elected to buy a "lifetime" oil change policy with the car.  The deal works like this-- he paid about $350 for lifetime oil changes for his new car!  He said that if you were to calculate it out, it costs about $20 an oil change if you keep the car to 75,000 miles!
    Now, the rub comes when he takes it to the dealer for service.  He bought the car from a big "mega dealer" which is a multi state dealer and has stores of many different car types.  He told me that it takes between 1.5 to 3 hours every time he takes the car in for the service.
    The neighbor visited with the service advisor the last time and asked why it took so long.  After a long harangue, the final point made by the service advisor was this, "You don't have to bring it here for service!"  My neighbor responded with the title used today.
    Wow, what great customer service and advertising this dealership promotes with an attitude like that.  More interesting, according to the neighbor are the other 4-5 clients sitting the show room waiting for their oil to be changed as well.  We can argue about why this may not be a big deal, however, that is the topic for another post!
    The neighbor told me that the service advisor gave him a long litany of why it takes so long to get the oil changed, however, the bottom line is that it appears that pride in workmanship and pride in the dealership is lacking.
     Now, is that your business?  Do your staff talk to customers that same way?  Remember, in today's world, the customer/client has a choice-- he can use your firm, or he/she can walk and go to the competition.    Most folks will stay with you if you are fair, friendly, and faithful.  However, those traits are not to taken for granted.  If you take them for granted, the customers will walk on you.
     Perhaps if you were to get more than one comment/complaint on this matter or any matter, you have a problem that you may not recognize.  Just because you did not see it does NOT mean that there is not a problem-- if a customer relays a concern, rest assured that there is an underlying problem, if you wish to admit it or not!!
    These are opportunities that are hidden that you need to fix!  Telling the customer that he does not have to come here is not the way to increase business and profitability.  In my neighbor's case, he wishes that he did not buy the oil change policy.  However, since he did, he wishes to use it.  Cannot fault him for that!!  When a customer identifies a point that is unfavorable, recognize that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.  You may not like it, however, at least in the customer's mind, there is a problem that needs attention.


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