Improve Customer Loyalty And Remember Service Is A Two-Way Street

Hi Ron,

I was having trouble with a set of tires I purchased for my automobile. The ride was rough and unacceptable.

The store was willing to exchange the tires or give me a refund. However, it was not definite that the tires were actually the cause of my problem.

Paul, the mechanic servicing my cars for the last six years, offered to take a look. His son Mike did a diagnostic check that took an hour and a half. Afterwards, they explained what the real problem was. Then they offered a recommendation and I followed their advice. The problem was resolved with an exchange of tires to a different model.

This service from Paul and Mike is excellent customer care. But it gets even better. Paul refused to accept any payment from me for the diagnostic service performed on my automobile. And it gets even better than that! Five days later I received a “Thank You!” card from them both. They thanked me for letting them serve me even though they didn’t charge anything after discovering the cause of my problem. Now that is great customer service!

I turned around and thanked them and their crew by having pizza sent over to their repair shop for lunch. The entire experience was truly delicious “food for thought.”

Mel S., Motorola

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Dear Mel,

Bravo to you and to your mechanics. This story illustrates three key principles in service and shows a great way to improve customer loyalty.

First, Paul and Mike understand the “lifetime value of a customer.” They clearly understand how to improve customer loyalty. You have been bringing your car to their shop for six years. You have likely spent thousands of dollars with them during this time. They can afford to give you an hour or two of diagnostic service at no charge and improve customer loyalty at the same time. And with a gesture of generosity like that, you will spend thousands more with them in the years to come.

Second, the card they sent you was a brilliant investment of time and effort. Writing the card took no more than five minutes – yet it created an emotional impact no amount of paid advertising will ever match to improve customer loyalty. Your “positive word-of- mouth” when telling this story to others will be more credible than any newspaper advertising, more lasting than any radio or television commercial. Great service providers, Paul and Mike. (Smart business people, too.)

Third, your action in sending a pizza and sharing your story with me demonstrates that great service really is a two-way street. What you send out comes back. When you take steps to improve customer loyalty, the efforts will pay off. What goes around, comes around. When you give with a generous spirit and an open heart, the world brings great things back to you.

Wishing you all the best, Mel. May you continue to enjoy smooth rides and smooth service.

Key Learning Point To Improve Customer Loyalty

Delivering superior service and taking steps to improve customer loyalty isn’t rocket science. The fundamentals of world-class service are easy to learn – but not always easy to apply. What makes one service provider better than another is not more theory or information. It’s more action! Take steps to improve customer loyalty and the payoff can be great.

Action Steps To Improve Customer Loyalty

Choose one of the fundamental service principles and put it into action this week to improve customer loyalty. It doesn’t matter which principle you choose. They all work well to improve customer loyalty..

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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “UP! Your Service” books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpYourService.com.

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