Monday, June 25, 2012

You Need to be Slightly Better than the Competition

Motorcycle Flat Tire Power Marketing Blog George Torok

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 business.”

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 good.

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.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing
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