At Your Service: A good news story
By Russ Dantu
By Russ Dantu
I’ve had a few fender benders in my time. Every one of them has been someone else’s fault and non-injury affairs, luckily. Unfortunately, it is irritating because it is an inconvenience to have to phone the insurance company, have someone look at the damages, arrange for a rental car, and cross your fingers, toes, legs and eyes that it gets fixed quickly and properly at the auto body shop.
At best, my previous experiences have been taken care of with average service at best. Being a customer service specialist, I am always analyzing service that is given to me.
Such was the case with my latest mishap. A co-worker was backing out of our showroom parking lot and scraped the bumper of her pickup truck against the front quarter panel of my truck. She thought she was clear but left quite the amount of scratches and dents, even though she wasn’t even travelling five miles per hour.
She immediately came back in to let me know. She’s never been in an accident before. I smiled and said, “Shit happens. No one got hurt. It’s all good. We’ll get the insurance to handle it!”
I have a fabulous insurance company I deal with and she gave me the number for Intact and gave me some pointers to help the process. I’ve had good luck with Intact over the years and they were quick to help out this time. I chose Horton Auto Body because it is fairly close to my home, they are on Intacct’s preferred list, and they work with Enterprise Car Rentals (they pick you up) so obtaining a rental would be easy.
Fifteen minutes after my call to an Intact rep, I received a call from Horton Auto Body to set up a time to do an appraisal. I then received a call five minutes after that from Enterprise because Horton Auto Body had said they would get them to call. I set a time for the next day, went there and Brendon had the appraisal done within 15 minutes (over $2,500 for the small incident). He told me the time for this job said seven business days but said we can likely have it done in four.
I needed a few days to take care of some other projects before dropping the car off. I arrived at 8 a.m. on the day of drop off. Brent helped me again and Enterprise were waiting for me to take me five minutes away for my rental truck while my Toyota 4Runner was being fixed.
Four days later (not five), the manager, Kevin, called me to say the repairs were done…ahead of schedule! I was able to leave my rental with them and they took care of having Enterprise back to pick it up. What was even nicer was that when I got in the car, it had been completely detailed, washed and waxed.
Later that day, I received a survey from Horton Auto Body. I don’t always take time to fill these in but was more than happy to and I gave them a raving review. I then phoned Kevin back to tell him how impressed I was with the whole process of working with them, from the front desk office manager, to Brendon to him! There wasn’t one thing I could have complained about or thought was average service. They made sure that every detail of this experience was pleasant and went above and beyond to have my vehicle back ahead of time.
I will say that timing is everything and it wasn’t a particularly busy time for them but from speaking to a few other people that know them, they always provide this type of service.
When we deliver exceptional customer service consistently, what happens is this: we develop a reputation for being a leader in our field. We get more word-of-mouth referrals from people who have dealt with us – they talk about how good we are. We make people happy because they don’t really expect exceptional customer service because it isn’t something you see every day. It leaves a lasting impression. I’m still raving about this and it’s been a month since I left their shop.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again,: customer service isn’t rocket science, but so many companies make it that way. It is the easiest way to differentiate your business from others in your field. If you want more customers and happier customers, start delivering exceptional customer service in every aspect of your business!
Take care of yourselves, your customers and your employees!
Russ Dantu is a 30-year veteran of the rental industry and has been delivering workshops, seminars and keynotes on customer service for over 15 years. Visit russdantu.com.