As I jumped into the car the other day I noticed a big screw sticking out of the driver’s side tire. No day is a good day for this to happen but this was the Friday afternoon before the holiday weekend when many are partying and preparing for a few days off.
The screw was like a finger in the dike holding back the air in a tire that hadn’t gone flat yet but it wouldn’t be long.
The panic call to my auto repair service was answered on the first ring and when I asked John if they could fix the tire if I arrived in the next 15 minutes he said of course, bring it in.
They took my keys as soon as I came in the door and as I sat waiting I listened to John checking out other customers. He knew about their families and asked how each was by name. It was natural for him and he was sincere.
Within an hour of me first noticing the screw I was back on the road, ready to go. And to my surprise there was no bill. John simply said Happy Holidays. I insisted on at least leaving a tip for the guy who fixed it. He refused and said thank you for my business.
There’s not a lot of glamor in the world of pumping gas and repairing cars. but for the right business person there is a lot of money. Even in his coveralls John runs a tight ship.
Some owners instinctively know how to grow business while others don’t have a clue.
I discovered Smith Wheel a a few years ago. It’s not pretty to look at but it’s well maintained, always looks organized with a lot full of cars to be serviced every day.
I had been referred there by my previous auto repair place who couldn’t fix my custom wheels at the time and referred me to the best in town. That was the last time they saw me. After two other disappointing experiences and overcharges, I wasn’t feeling wanted.
Referring me to Smith Wheel was probably the best thing they ever did for me.
As promised, the new auto repair business did my repair quickly, at a fair price and were very friendly to deal with. Plus I found that John also owned the two best gas stations in town. It was the beginning of a long and satisfying relationship.
When I realized they did any other repairs I might need, I switched all my business to them. They were more convenient, provided same day service, were never too busy to help me and when I asked for work to be done that they thought wasn’t necessary, they would say so instead of just running up my bill.
And when my car last needed inspection, it had an error code that indicated a pollution control problem. They could have just replaced the expensive parts and charged me the $1000 for the job. Instead, they told me there was a GM tech bulletin that suggested it could be a bad reading and for about $100 I could get the software update at the dealer.
If I wanted to do that they would test it again and put on the sticker assuming it passed.
You guessed it. The update removed the error and I avoided a huge bill. How could I not love the service they give me?
If you looked at John you would never guess that under that head of gray hair and behind that friendly mechanic’s smile was a sharp business mind. He just gets it.
Do your customers say the same about you?
Are you under-promising and over-delivering?
If not, the New Year is nigh. It’s resolution time. Make that one big change next year in your business and watch it grow.
To your success in 2013,
PS If you want help building your reputation for what you do best call me at 215-262-2309 or email me here. We can talk about your goals for 2013 and how best to achieve them.