Recently I was at a grocery store deli to pick up my wife’s favorite cheese and learned a lesson about customer care and complaints. There was one employee in the Department cleaning the sink and a customer was patiently waiting ahead of me. I asked if she had been helped yet which caught the attention of the employee. She said no and obviously when asked I informed the employee she was ahead of me. The customer asked for a specific brand of sliced turkey in which immediately after the employee heard it made a sour face. “You want that brand?” The customer reassured the employee that was her choice and she filled the order with attitude. After the customer went on their way the employee proceeded to explain to me why the brand that customer ordered was so bad. After this example of poor customer service, I have to wonder how many people would complain to management. Generally, I believe people don’t want to take the time to complain. They don’t want to cause problems for the employee or get involved and just overlook the event. I admit I didn’t have a desire to inform the management about this event either for the same reasons. The problem with this is that without management being informed the likelihood of customer care improving isn’t very good. How could they address a problem they didn’t even know exists? It seems to me companies need to develop an easy process for customers to inform management of experiences both positive and negative. I have a few dealership clients that the dealer’s cell phone number is published on posters and billboards to make access easy to discuss issues and get resolution for customers. Although this seems excessive the commitment of these dealers to provide exceptional customer care is impressive. I am sure they receive many crank calls from people that don’t believe the cell number is real. Today’s companies have fallen away from cultures that provide exceptional customer care. Customer complaints should be considered a valuable tool to improve customer care and service. Most people don’t complain to management about poor experiences they just don’t come back. Customer satisfaction is a requirement of retention and growth for the future. Let’s all take part and make the commitment of time required that will provide the customer with nothing but our best.
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.