Frankly, whatever we do, it reflects who we are. Money is a place where that reflection of values is very clear. As you’ve heard me say before it’s a great place to look at to see just what we are up to. Recently I had a really positive experience of that at—of all places—a Hyundai car dealership.
I have a 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe (you may have seen the post “Perfect Bandage Fix” about it earlier this year). Anyway the little do-hickey that squirts the cleaning fluid on the windshield was clogged on the drivers side. And as people are want to say in these here parts, “It rains in Oregon.” After trying the “pin poke” method, I made an appointment with the dealership to take it in to have the offending do-hickey fixed—and yes, it was raining that day.
When I got there they discovered that I wasn’t in their database. I had never been there before. As I went into the waiting area to do the magazine hunt while they fixed the car, I noticed one of the mechanics and a female customer over to the side talking. It appeared that there were a bunch of things wrong with her car, and he was going over a game plan with her on how to get it back in shape. I was frankly impressed with how the mechanic was handling the situation. The woman appeared to be a bit flustered and worried. He was empathetic, clear, patient, and relaxed, without a hint of being patronizing.
Frankly in my experience that’s hard to find in a mechanic. I remember once long ago when a mechanic at a gas station asked me if I wanted to have him fill the radiator on my VW bug. My response was “No thanks, I had my boyfriend do that this morning!” (For those who don’t know, the classic VW Bugs are air cooled—no radiator. But I digress.)
Back to the waiting room. At this point I’m impressed with the dealership based on the conversation I’m listening to. Now a guy with a clip board comes in and calls my name. He tells me that the little hose that takes the soapy water to the actual squirter do-hickey was clogged and he’s cleared it. I say “Wonderful, how much do I owe you?” and he says: “It’s no charge, it’s just a little thing.”
As I got into my car, I was smiling. In general I have always had that, “Don’t go to the dealership! They charge way more!” thing in my head. I based it on previous experience, and it was firmly there. It’s now changed.
Although this may sound like a plug for Beaverton Hyundai, which it certainly is, it is also very much about Customer Service. And Customer Service is about building trust and aligning with your values, yes?
Sure they could have charged me to clear the clog. I would have happily paid it. It would have been fine. What they did instead was create a relationship with me by being generous in a small way. The value of caring and consideration reflected in their actions.
Guess where I’ll go when the car needs fixing?
Shell Tain, The Untangler
Want to explore how you might build more trust in little ways with your clients? Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website: www.sensiblecoaching.com