The internet is cram packed full of people complaining about their customer experiences, but I wanted to take a moment to share a story about an excellent customer service experience I encounter every time I visit. This past week I got my oil changed and new tires put on my vehicle at my favorite place Youngtedt’s in Maple Grove.
The reason this is my favorite place and why I have my car, my wife’s car and even take my mom’s car despite her living an hour away to this location is easy. It’s the way the manager Brian Try makes me feel as a customer. And it’s not just me. I observed while waiting for my car that day that Brian treats every customer with the save time of top notch customer service.
When customers arrive for a scheduled appointment Brian greets them as they walk in the door by name. I don’t believe he has some magical facial recognition memory. Instead, I believe his organization and preparedness allow him to know which customers are coming through the doors at what time. Here is an article from 2014 in the Washington Post about the power of using people’s names and strategies for using them effectively. Using someone's name effectively is a practice that takes a purposeful approach but one that clients appeciate. One note I’d like to make is that if you overuse my name in a sales situation it also can be a turnoff.
Another quality I appreciate from Brian is he asked questions before he jumped in to his recommendation for the type of tires I should buy. He asked how long I planned on driving the car and the type of driving and trips I take. This allowed us to think just how big of a return on my investment in my tires I required. There are thousands of blogs and articles about asking probing sales questions on the web, but if you are in sales check out this quick blog post. My favorite part about this one in particular is the author Doug Davidoff’s emphasis on not asking the basic or bland probing questions. Know the answers to those going into the meeting and cut to the meat of the matter and ask GREAT questions and better follow up questions!
After asking those questions Brian presented some options and what each one would cost and the type of quality I’d get. He didn’t seem to have an agenda based on what he might make on the sale but advised me based on my needs and desired price point. Now, this transaction is not that big or complicated. I needed tires and he has tire options, but here is what I think is a helpful article on writing a successful sales proposal. What this article states that I agree with is giving the client options, but ones where both parties can still win.
The final thing Brian did that impressed me enough to write this blog is he followed up with me later in the day, just like he said he would, and he went the extra mile. He knew I was in a hurry to get back to work so he took care of the rebate paperwork on my behalf and followed up with a call and an email later in the day. This made the experience easy for me while also trying to allow me to capitalize on some savings and rebates that were available. Check out this article which emphasizes that you need to follow up with your clients and prospects before your competition does. Sales people need to develop a routine on following up with past customers or prospects that they met with and failing to do so allows others to earn their business.