We recently had some routine maintenance done on our Customer Frame vehicle + had an interesting experience we wanted to share.
Now, for those of you who have met Pete, you’d know that he’s a bit of a car nut + pretty picky about who he lets touch his precious vehicles.
He’s also pretty cluey (#CarNerd) + can talk confidently about the service he’s about to have done. In fact, he quite likes to show off his knowledge with whomever he’s chosen to tend to the car, enjoying some banter + term-dropping along the way.
So, this particular day, the person who normally mans the front desk is on the phone when Pete walks in.
Now he could have left Pete standing there like a pork chop, which many businesses would do, but instead he dashes out the back to grab a guy to take care of Pete.
Except, it wasn’t.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about, mate”
This guy was one of the techs from the workshop. + clearly not trained in customer interaction + service.
How could we tell?
Because, when Pete explained what he was having done + what he needed, instead of taking the keys + processing the service, the guy began to argue with him, telling him he had it all wrong + that, in not so many words, Pete didn’t know what he was talking about.
It wasn’t just his words either, it was his mannerisms, his attitude, his demeanour that immediately put Pete off.
HOW DID THE CUSTOMER FEEL?
Aside from feeling quite miffed, Pete’s confidence in these guys had plummeted – all from this one seemingly innocuous interaction.
In fact, all sorts of thoughts began to cross his mind…
‘Will they look after my vehicle?’
‘If they treat their customers like this, how will they treat my car?’
‘Do they know what they’re doing?’
‘Will they do a good job?’
‘Will they do what they say they’re going to do?’
This is the reality of the internal chatter that goes on for customers after an interaction with you. The chatter can be positive + upbeat, or it can be negative + fraught with worry.
WHO FRONTS YOUR BUSINESS, MATTERS
Who is serving your customers?
One interaction with the wrong staff member + your customer confidence can plummet.
Where a confident, happy customer once stood, a worried, nervous, doubtful customer remains.
+ what happens when customers get worried, or have doubts about you?
They nitpick. They double + triple check. They ask lots of questions. They inherently don’t trust you.
They often don’t return.
So, what started as a positive relationship – they chose you over competitors, didn’t they? – can quickly turn into a poor one.
THE SIMPLE FACT IS THIS…
Mr-Tech-Guy-From-Out-the-Back simply wasn’t trained to serve customers, to take them through the process, to take care of their needs + ensure they walked away happy.
He just wasn’t skilled. It’s not his fault. He just should never have been there in the first place.
BE SURE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMER’S EXPERIENCE…
We know this company was likely just trying to do the right thing by not letting customers wait. + that’s great.
But in trying to not upset the customer, they upset the customer.
By not thinking about who they put in front of that customer. Not just anyone will do.
Some simple training in customer etiquette + process could have saved this interaction. Pete would have walked away confident + happy, + the provider would be assured of another transaction down the track.
Instead, Pete spent an hour + a half worrying + the rest of the time, quite sure he was never coming back.
Be mindful of who is serving your customers, always.
Service recovery is much harder than getting it right in the first place – take the time to train your staff, get your systems + processes right + take care of your customer. You’ll be glad you did.