Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do You REALLY want Kevin Smith to be Your Spokesperson?

My guess is the answer is a resounding "NO!" especially if you are Southwest Airlines.

Recently Kevin Smith was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight because he was too fat. He started tweeting about it, and I mean tweeting non-stop.

When Kevin Smith tweets, people listen. People like CNN, TMZ, People Magazine and Larry King. People who are more than happy to share Smith's story of bad customer service.

All of a sudden, Southwest had to start handling a public relationship nightmare. They now are in the position of having to try to overcome tons of bad publicity.

The whole notion of bigger customer's having to buy two seats has been in the news recently. But this is different. This is a man who fit in his seat without having to have the buckle extender.

It of course makes you wonder how many other people have had to deal with this embarrassing situation. Smith was mortified to have to take the walk of shame off the plane. Yes he is a celebrity, but NO ONE should have to be taken off a plane in this way.

In his smodcast Smith says...
"There is no customer service whatsoever left, I am not going to say in this whole country...
But how do you show that little interest in somebody who like holds sway over your ...job?"

He has a great point. All of us, not just celebrities, holds sway over the jobs of the people who serve us.

Now I am not saying that anyone should lose their job over this incident. Just that if you are in the customer service business you really should provide exceptional customer care.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Erhard BMW provides exceptional customer service

It was 4:01 PM this last Saturday. I pulled my car, with the horrible clanging shocks, up to the service entrance. I knew Erhard's BMW service department closed at 4, but I was hopeful that someone could at least tell me if it was dangerous to drive the car.

Now, most businesses that close at a certain time don't let any new customers in after that time.The workers have put in a full day and they lock the doors right at closing time. But not Erhard, they are in the customer service business and nothing was more important to them than me. Or at least that is how they made me feel.

I not only had my car taken on a test drive and put on a hoist (thank you Sam) but they arranged for me to take a loaner car. Late on a weekend day it would seem impossible to offer me a loaner car. But they found one. By the way the new BMW was awesome!

What this meant was that everybody had to stay late on a weekend night.
And to a person they never made me feel like they were doing me a favor. You may know what I mean by that. The service provider says "Well, (sigh) I guess I can help you, (sigh) but only this once. You know you are here after closing time."

Erhard's team treated me like a valued guest. In fact they acted as if I showed up first thing in the morning. I was never made to feel guilty for making them stay late.

I love this dealership. They continually exceed my expectations.

What are you doing to exceed YOUR customer's expectations? Take a tip from the Erhard team and go the extra mile.