How much do the little things matter?

You hear a lot of varying opinions on customer service these days. A lot of people that think businesses aren’t delivering enough. ( I also think a lot of customers are starting to feel entitled to a business giving away the farm, when they’re not at fault and it just doesn’t make monetary sense but that’s a whole different post.)

But, what about the little things? The smile when you walk into a business. Your salesguy remembering your name. That extra bit a business does to show you matter. Do they really make a difference?

I was in a car accident just before Christmas. A guy ran a stop sign and plowed right into the side of my car. Took about a month to get it all fixed up and I moved to Winnipeg before it was ready. Last week, when I flew back to Kelowna to get the moving truck loaded, it was my first chance to pick the car up.

The autobody shop knew all about my bouncing between provinces and the time crunch I was under. They’d even had me call the day before I was picking it up, to make sure it was ready for me. But, when they opened the back door to show me the interior work, first thing the sales rep and I notice is all the mud inside. You could tell by the smudges and prints that it had been from the work getting done (and, I knew for sure as I’d just had the car detailed before the accident so it was pretty much sparkling beforehand). He apologizes and says he’ll get his guys on it right away.

Then I notice that my (now) horribly cracked windshield hasn’t been replaced either. He explains that ICBC usually doesn’t cover the windshield if there are any rock chips. Only problem with that explanation (beyond it seeming like BS from the insurance side of things) is we’d had the same conversation the month before. I said I wanted the insurance broker to verify that and, if they still wouldn’t cover it, to replace the windshield at my expense. I’m a bit frustrated, but he says no problem. Bring it in the next day and he’ll replace the windshield and get it detailed at the same time.

Perfect! A little time out of a pretty packed schedule, but great that he can make it happen. I’ll feel safer about driving cross country if I have a clear view out that window.

I get the car in. They have a courtesy driver to run me back home and pick me up when it’s done. (Handy! Customer service bonus points.) Pay for the windshield, friendly chat with the salesguy, get in the car…disapointment. It still hasn’t been detailed.

What do you do? Turn around, walk back in and tell them they forgot to detail the car…again? What’s the autobody equivalent of spitting in your burger? Plus, I was already too busy to fit in getting my windshield replaced and just don’t have any more time to spare. Instead, I drive away. Mildly annoyed that I have a dirty car.

And, THAT is what has stuck with me. Not the amazing job they did with the repairs and how you can’t even tell I was in an accident. Not the incredibly friendly salesman. Not the courtesey driver. Not even the fact that they didn’t change the windshield, which seems like the bigger issue in hindsight. Nope, it was the fact that my car interior didn’t get vacuumed and wiped down.

Sometimes, it is all about the little things.

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About radionesta

Martha Stewart with Betty Page bangs. I love my glue gun, drunk gardening, roller derby and radio. I prefer my music loud and my wine big, red & juicy. View all posts by radionesta

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