Lately, it seems to be part of the human condition, making things harder than they need to be. Everywhere but especially in Customer Service or Customer Experience. We’re all guilty of it, and often unknowingly.
Lately I’ve noticed that what driving this might be the lack of trust we have in others, the the fear that somehow we’ll be ‘screwed’ in the process of being geneous and kind to others, that someone will ‘take advantage’ of us and our generousity. When we give into that fear, we put procedures in place to prevent getting screwed that end up screwing up so many other things, including our customer’s experience.
Recently I spoke with a friend, Paul Morris, who is also the CEO of Jack Morris Auto Glass, a company that delivers great service and great experiences when you get your windshield replaced. I needed to get mine fixed. I just wanted to find out what the best way to proceed was, bring the car in, or do it remotely; and to check in with Paul on how he’s doing with all this Covid driven isolation we are experiencing.
Paul told me a story about a recent call he recieved on his from a car dealer in Nashville, where they have shops. The service attendent told him how a customer had walked in ordered an interior detailing job for her car, and that “Jack Morris” would be paying for it. The attendent seemed to be concerned that the customer was trying to pull a fast one so he wanted to make sure Paul knew what was going on. Paul immediately started giving him his credit card numbers to pay for it. The attendant stopped him briefly, asking if he wanted to check his records to make sure he wasn’t being taken advantage of.
Paul responded, “If that’s what she said, we must have promised her we would do that. We must have stained her upholstery when we changed out her windshield. So please detail her car and charge my credit card.”
“Don’t you want to know her name?” “Nope”
“I’ll call you when were finished to make sure you’re okay with it.” “No, just detail her car, and bill my credit card”
“I’ll send you the reciept, okay” “No need, I trust you’ll do a good job. Bill my credit card.”
Paul and everyone at Jack Morris have doing things this way since the sixties. No procedures or policy to follow, except “Make it right for the customer, no matter what” From the very beginning, first his father’s, then his brother’s, and now Paul’s personal phone number is on the bill and on the wall and door, asking everyone to call if something isn’t right.
Here’s the thing. Paul rarely gets a call. And when he does, he takes care of it exactly like the instance above. And all of his staff does the same thing, long before anyone ever calls Paul.
“It’s really not that hard to make customers happy. Everyone seems to make it hard than it is.”
Here’s the deal. Paul and his team don’t worry about getting screwed by anyone. It just doesn’t happen very often. They just take care of it. Each customer, tells everyone about what happened. So customers keep rolling through their doors. Other than the first couple of weeks of the pandemic, when no one knew which way was up, Jack Morris hasn’t missed a beat, and right now business is better than it was before.
Their formula is simple. Keep it simple, make it easy, trust your employees, trust your customers.
One other thing, they don’t have an adverstising or marketing budget. They don’t need one.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Adopting it for my coaching practice, and encouraging my clients to do the same. And thinking about how to apply this elsewhere in society.
What are you thinking about this story? This idea that we make it harder than we have to by not trusting our customers?
And I got my windshield fixed. Remotely. Happy as a pig in mud.