3 Lessons from my Car Mechanic.

I recently took my car into the shop for an alignment issue. Dan, the front office guy who has known me for years, greeted me. I gave him as much detailed information as I could so that he could effectively address the issue with my car. He said it would take a couple hours, gave me a rough estimate, and offered to drive me to a coffee shop or back to work so that I wouldn’t have to wait there. The shop is fairly comfortable and equipped with wifi, so I stuck around. When he motioned me over toward the desk about 2 hours later, Dan broken into a truly magical conversation that captured me as a customer. This is about that conversation.

First, in the initial greeting Dan was excited as ever to see me, and was familiar with our details, including history of our prior visits. This was remarkable considering I only see him 1-2 times per year for minor jobs. My guess is that he takes meticulous notes on his computer,  it either way – by memory or by computer notes – I was impressed by his mentioning of our previous visits.

Second, and most importantly, the words he mentioned when he motioned me back to the desk transported my experience in the mechanics shop to somewhere else… some place that made me feel like this guy has been paying attention to me since I first came to his shop. Here’s as approximation of what he said:

You know, I think you’re pretty good at your job, but I think you’re going to be much better. I can tell that you’re starting to pay attention to details more than before, and I’m sure it translates into your work as well.

What do you mean?

You gave me a pretty detailed and informative report of how the car was performing at highway speeds. It’s something you’ve never done so well in the past.

Ok, so this guy took my current experiencd, placed it within the larger arc of all my prior visits, and extracted an empowering theme with which he completely shocked me… and it makes me want to keep returning. This guy is actually paying attention to his customers as Human Beings, not simply customer #3842 with an alignment problem.

Third, he made a deeper emotional connection as we walked by a beautiful Audi:

Isn’t she pretty?

Yeah, looks nice…

Well, I wouldn’t buy it. It’s got problem after problem. Talk to me before you buy your next car. I’ll tell you what you shouldn’t be buying. And, I’ll tell you what to look for in the prospective car. This one is terrible…

Did this guy just offer me his time & experise (for free?) to help me make a smarter purchase on my next car?? He knows that it isn’t fun to keep bring your car in for major repairs/fixes. Of course he could make more money by me bringing in a terrible purchase for regular fixing, but he opted to help me get a car that wouldn’t require as much (if any) repairs or upgrades. With that, he said goodbye as I walked to my car with keys in hand.

  1. He remembered my history.
  2. He noticed positive big picture change in me and brought it to my attention. This made me feel really impressed by him.
  3. He offered something outside of the norm from a mechanic’s shop… for free, and most likely at the loss of potentially more income.

Customer service won me over, again.

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