Marketing expert, George Torok helps businesses gain an unfair marketing advantage over the competition. A bestselling author, he consults with business owners and is available for speaking engagements. Power Marketing is a registered trademark.
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You Need to be Slightly Better than the Competition
On a weekend motorcycle ride my bike suffered a flat tire. I
wasn’t hurt and the bike wasn’t damaged. Fortunately I was close to a mall. The
Canadian Tire store in that mall wasn’t able to repair the flat but the service
manager allowed me to store my bike in the shop over the weekend. That was an
unexpected friendly gesture. Storing the bike inside was much better than leaving
the bike in the parking lot over the weekend.
On Monday I started calling motorcycle shops to arrange pick
up and repair. I was surprised at the responses.
The first shop was less than a mile from the Canadian Tire
store. The person who answered the phone said, “Nah, I’m booked solid and
everyone’s screaming for their bike. I have to turn you down. I don’t want your
Wow. That was a rejection that I didn’t expect. I won’t call
them again and I can only imagine why people might be screaming.
The second shop was closest to my home. The person responded
with, “I’m busy today. Call me tomorrow.”
I wondered, “Why can’t you take my call now? Why should I
call you back?”
By the time I called the third shop my expectations were
greatly diminished. The person said, “I can pick it up tomorrow.”
Wow! That sounded promising. Tomorrow was the best promise
I’d heard so far. Then he added that he might not examine the bike until
Thursday. The bike might not be available until Saturday. That was the best
promise yet as I told him I am a weekend rider so Saturday or Sunday was
A Few Questions
Why were the first two shops so negative? Why did no
one ask me about my expectations? Is that a symptom of the industry or simply
bad retail service?
Tuesday morning I waited for the service truck at the
arranged time. Fifteen minutes after the scheduled pick-up time I called the
shop to check the status. The shop person didn’t apologize for the lateness.
Instead she said that the truck should be there soon. The person picking up my
bike was 30 minutes late. He didn’t apologize either.
Looks like there is a lot of room to improve customer
service in the motorcycle business.
It’s curious that the friendliest person was the service
manager at the Canadian Tire store. Too bad that they don't fix motorcycle tires.