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Monday, July 25, 2011

Customer Service... you're doing it right!

Last week my scooter died on me on the road... not once, but twice, in as many days.  The first time around I had to have it transported to my mechanic. 

I had no idea why it had died, so the shop was forced to play 'House' and try to diagnose the problem based on very little evidence.  For the shop, this has to be a bit nerve racking because it is their reputation (and a customer) on the line.

The first time around they found the coil had burned out, but they didn't catch the short that had caused it.  I found that when it died on me the second time half way home after picking it up.

The owner of the shop rode a loaner scooter to where I was stranded, apologized profusely, and sent me home on it; and waited with my scooter for the flatbed truck.

The shop finally found the wires with the split shielding that had caused the short, made the fix... inspected the rest of the wire harness carefuly for other potential problems, and then gave the rest of the bike a very careful inspection. 

But the real surprise was that while the mechanic was working on my scoot, the owner noticed that my exhaust was really discolored (actually a ghastly pinkish color) from heat and oxidation. So he removed it and had one of the stock clerks remove the chrome bit, sand down the exterior of the muffler, and spray a couple of coats of flat black heat resistant BBQ paint.

When I came to pick up the scooter I immediately noticed the new-looking muffler and was delighted.  Had he asked, I would have gladly given him the go ahead, but when I asked him how much I owed him, he waved me off saying, "People take better care of their scooters when they look nice. It's on the house."

That, my friends, is Customer Service done right.

Posted by David Bogner on July 25, 2011 | Permalink

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Our mechanic has a similar attitude! Is it just machine folk who know what customer service really means here?!

Posted by: Alissa | Jul 25, 2011 2:57:07 PM

I experienced the same sort of thing at the dry cleaners several years ago. I went to pick up my suit on a Friday afternoon, and my daughter's bat mitzvah was that Sunday. They were unable to find it anywhere, despite having 4 or 5 people searching. They sent me home, saying they would call me when they found it. They called after I had been home after about 15 minutes - they found it.

The kicker was the next time I went back with an armload of shirts, the owner refused to let me pay for them. "We caused you trouble, we want to make it up to you." That's why I kept going back to the place for years, until we made aliyah. Amazing customer service.

Posted by: AF | Jul 25, 2011 3:10:08 PM

Thanks for posting a complimentary story with no gratuitous negativity thrown in

Posted by: Chaim Sherman | Jul 25, 2011 3:54:19 PM

Wow. I've been an olah for 2 weeks and have yet to experience anything close to that. There's hope after all! :)

Posted by: SaraK | Jul 25, 2011 4:12:25 PM

I find that the level of customer service increases depending on how non-necessary the item is...the more "luxury" the item, the better the service. Its why you'll be getting no service from electric/telephone, very little from cellphone or banks, and worlds of service from sporting goods stores. They know you really have a choice (not between their item or a different brand) but rather between choosing this hobby or that one. Its still amazing to me how Israelis put up with bad service to save a few bucks, or a few minutes.

Posted by: Noa | Jul 25, 2011 4:51:19 PM

I dropped my father's 55 year old Omega watch at the watchmaker last month because the second hand fell off.
They repaired it with no charge.
Feels nice.

Posted by: Larry | Jul 25, 2011 11:16:42 PM

Always nice to hear about good customer service in Israel!

Posted by: Mark | Jul 26, 2011 3:19:51 AM

Thanks for sharing a "satisfied customer" story. You didn't emphasize a part of the story that I find equally important, after years of working in various service fields. The tone of your story shows that you realize that human beings run this garage. Humans may be trying their best, but don't always get it right the first time. Customers such as yourself who give the merchant/employee the benefit of the doubt make it easier to give good service.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Jul 26, 2011 8:51:33 AM

"People take better care of their scooters when they look nice. It's on the house."

Wow! you are so lucky. Normally it would cost a lot to fix a scooter.

Posted by: "tooth" -inurl:typepad "powered by typepad" -"Comments on this post are closed" -"Comments are moderated" | Oct 19, 2011 6:37:22 AM

"People take better care of their scooters when they look nice. It's on the house."

Wow! you are so lucky. Normally it would cost a lot to fix a scooter.

Posted by: car finance | Oct 19, 2011 6:38:04 AM

That is what you call great customer service. Who would have thought that they wouldn't charge you for the repairs.

Posted by: car loans | Nov 30, 2011 10:51:20 AM

I wish they had the same customer service when It comes to cars because I noticed that most auto repair shops charge a lot.

Posted by: locksmith in Wichita | Dec 19, 2011 4:05:12 AM

This is just awesome customer service. I hope they can do this service for cars too. You should link their website here to show the world.

Posted by: perth airport long term parking | Jan 4, 2012 4:59:37 AM

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