Derek Neighbors

The more I learn, the less I know.

Personal Great Service Requires Constant Attention

By Derek Neighbors, Published on June 16, 2011

I am a fan of great service. When I see it exemplified I try to share it. For example, QuikTrip does a great job #winning. Another company that has always impressed me is Discount Tire. They always greet me right away. They fix my tires for free when repairable. They give me a free air check when my tires are low. All of this even on tires not purchased from them. WOW! They never give me problems when I need tires rotated or tires replaced under warranty that I did purchase from them.

I have probably spent close to $2500 in tires in the last 12 months with them. Replacing four tires on my VW GTI and six tires on my Coachman RV. Pleasant experiences every time, for years. However, the other day I went to the store in Chandler (Dobson/Chandler) instead of my normal store in Queen Creek (Rittenhouse/Ellsworth). When I showed up and tried to get an attendants attention they stared me right in the eye but would not acknowledge me. FOUR SEPARATE EMPLOYEES. Finally, I had to interrupt someone to ask them for an air check. They ignored me and walked by a passing manager and told them “that guy needs something”.

The manager seemed frazzled. It was a moderately busy day, but nothing completely out of the normal. He said, “need air?”. I nodded. He responded with “Move your car over there and someone will be there in a minute.”. I complied. Fifteen minutes later no one had even come by. Finally, a gopher tossing old tires in bin came over and asked if I had been helped. I let them know I was waiting for an air check. He ran in and got someone and another five minutes later they performed the check. The worst part, they did it WRONG and my tire pressure light was still on. I was so pissed and late at this point I just said fuck it and left.

I feel bad for Discount Tire. This service is still probably better than I have ever got any other shop. The problem is my expectation. I was there for thirty minutes to get air in a single tire and it was done wrong. I wasted thirty minutes. Compared to just days before taking my RV in for SIX new tires. The entire process beginning to end to entirely replace SIX tires on an RV was under one hour. You can understand my level of expectation.

The problem with providing incredible service, is that your customers come to expect it. When you don’t deliver and don’t apologize for not delivering, you lose their trust and the magic disappears. You become just another company competing for their attention. If you are going to be remarkable, you need to bring your “A” game to every transaction.