I have been reading The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk (Amazon Affiliate Link) and have found it to be incredibly thought provoking. The book is filled with real life examples of how all of the technology that allows us to connect globally, may actually require that our behavior returns to the pre-automotive industry days. I’m not sure if the book has raised my awareness of such behaviors and that is the reason I am noticing more customer friendly behaviors, but I will tell you that I definitely have noticed some real life examples of businesses treating customers as if the business wants them to return. Here are some examples of face to face situations and how they happened to find their way to the Internet.
Sir, Your Car is Ready
My brother-in-law is a service manager for a local auto dealer, Rallye Lexus of Glen Cove. We have had numerous conversations about customer service as I know this is a core function of his job and with him being in the auto service industry for 20 years he has taken great pride in the experience he provides his customers. I was blown away when he told me of the approach his dealership took for those clients that put their car in for service and choose to wait on the premises for it to be complete. Rallye went out and bought some iPads that their clients have access to while waiting in what is already a pretty comfortable lounge. As is common I’m sure in many auto service departments across the country, they have a high def TV a coffee station and plenty of reading materials. The access to iPads really has been a hit, so much so that it is not uncommon for the service managers to see disappointed looks on the clients face that it is time to go. I see so much opportunity for Rallye to share their culture through social channels and build interactions for all to witness on sites like Facebook.
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
These words from the theme song for the hit TV show Cheers come to mind every time I go to one of my favorite restaurants in town. Every customer, regardless of how many times you have dined at Mill Creek Tavern, gets the same greeting from one of their owners Jamie Scott. He greets everyone with a great smile, firm hand shake and the assurance that his single most important focus is that everyone leaves happy and will want to return. Jamie has such an infectious personality, patrons leave with a smile and an overall great dining experience. It is a thing of beauty to see Jamie work the dining room throughout the night and he makes everyone feel as if he has known you his entire life! I have built such a great connection with Jamie that every couple of months I do a Social Media Dine & Learn where I share some real life examples of how social networking can be a valuable tool for personal and professional use. The feedback after these events has been great and I’m glad to see people inspired to become more active on social networking sites and I hope that Mill Creek Tavern benefits from new active fans in these circles. If you look at the Mill Creek Facebook Page you will see Jamie’s personality and the culture of the restaurant shine through.
Right This Way Sir, Please Come Again
My bride’s car was due for an oil change and one weekend our travels put me in the vicinity of a Jiffy Lube location I had never visited before. I normally go to another location a bit closer to my house and have found them to be just okay. My experience at the Mineola location this past weekend will absolutely get them my business in the future. The staff was very cordial and polite which reminded me of the days when attendants pumped your gas for you and even cleaned your windshield while at it. I had my nine year old and 12 year old sons with me and were greeted at the garage door by one of the staff and escorted to the waiting room with the attendant moving hoses and hanging extension cords out of our way. At each doorway was an employee to open the door for us and greet us with a smile. That was enough to make me take notice, when the manager came in and explained everything he did with the car; he couldn’t have been more courteous and respectful. What really rang my bell was as we were leaving an employee was stationed at the door and sent us off with a smile and “thank you for coming, please come again”. I’m really not sure what is sadder, the fact that I am pleasantly surprised by these experiences or that we somehow got away from this behavior in the first place?
Behaviors that could only exist in close knit communities of years ago, are making a comeback as a result of the far reaching Internet that can actually bring us all closer together! The take away here is that real life interactions can easily be scaled with the Internet of today and the ease of spreading your word.