Monday, March 30, 2015

You Only Need to be Slightly Better than the Competition

On a Sunday 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.

motorcycle flat tire
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 brutal 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 tomorrow?”

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. I told him that I’m a weekend rider so Saturday or Sunday was good.

A Few Questions
Why were the people at 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.

It looks like there is room for motorcycle shops to improve their attitude and customer service. Naturally attitude and customer service have much in common.

It’s curious that the friendliest person was the service manager at the Canadian Tire store. He had no immediate gain from me. They don’t repair motorcycles nor do they sell motorcycle accessories. They specialize in automotive, house and garden.

I will remember the snubs and the kind gesture.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

1 comment:

James Burchill said...

You might also consider joining the CAA :-)