Is An Oil Change Just an Oil Change? No - It is all in the Customer Service

For many businesses customer service is the only thing that sets them apart from their competition. Automotive maintenance is one such industry. There are no shortages of places to have your oil changed. You can do it yourself if you’re so inclined. The only reason I choose one business over another for changing my vehicle’s oil is the customer service I receive. After all, oil is oil, isn’t it?

I’ve taken my vehicle to the dealership for maintenance since day one. They have always provided me good, fast and honest service. When I went in for scheduled appointments they would greet me by name the moment I got out of my vehicle. No doubt they did a quick check on my license plate as I drove into the bay and then quickly looked up my name on their roster – but nonetheless it made me feel special.

In addition, if my appointment was scheduled for 10:00, my vehicle was in the shop at 10:00. They had me on my way ASAP, and I appreciate that. After all, while they are billing me by the hour, I am not able to earn income while sitting waiting for my vehicle to be serviced. Time is money for both of us.

I have become accustomed to this stellar level of service from my dealership. And you know what happens when the exceptional service becomes the norm? It becomes expected all the time, and every time.

I recently went to my dealership for my routine oil change. I pulled into the service bay to check in my vehicle and the staff essentially ignored my presence for over 10 minutes. The staff were there, they clearly saw me, but they were preoccupied talking amongst themselves. Their lack of customer service annoyed me. And after 10 minutes, I drove out of the bay and never looked back. They lost my business that day.

I went to a franchise, Mr. Lube, which was just around the corner. When I pulled into the parking lot an employee came rushing out of the building to bring me a paper, tell me how long the wait would be, and hand me a menu of the services. While they were servicing my vehicle, the young lady who served me was beyond polite and courteous. She brought me coffee, and although it wasn’t exactly Starbucks quality coffee I appreciated it. She called me by name each time she interacted with me. They had my vehicle serviced quickly. The service was outstanding. They won my business that day.

The next day I received a customer satisfaction survey from Mr. Lube. I love it when businesses send me surveys. I am glad they want and appreciate my opinion, and I will always take the time to complete them. I know how important the survey results are as a KPI of their business performance.

While I will not openly name the dealership where I received unsatisfactory service, I most certainly will tell the world about the good service I received at Mr. Lube.

The point of my blog is that providing good service is essential, and providing it 100% of the time is imperative. Customers are fickle. Providing poor service only once is enough to lose your client to the competition.

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