May 1, 2017 | OPERATIONS

Business Operations

The best form of advertising is word-of-mouth. The old studies showed that a satisfied customer will tell 2-3 people about their good experience with your company, while a dissatisfied consumer will share their experience with 8-10 people. In today’s social media dominated society, these numbers have grown by a factor of 1000. These same people now post comments on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare, etc, that reach literally thousands of people. You can see why focusing on excellent customer service if more important today than ever. Here’s an illustration of some great customer service that happened to me just a few weeks ago: I’ve been a member of AAA for many years. I use the discounts when I travel, but I’ve never needed roadside service until that week when I got stranded in a parking lot with a (10 year old) dead battery. My first instinct was to call a friend, buy a battery and install it in the parking lot. Instead, I gave AAA a call. The operator was very friendly and helpful and dispatched a service tech right away. It took about 30 minutes for the truck to arrive. During my wait, they called 3 times and sent two texts with updates on the ETA. The service tech, Kyle, called when he left the prior job. He took time to ask me about my F150’s symptoms and he even asked if I was safe. He showed up right on time, arrived in a AAA truck, a bright uniform and with a great helpful attitude. This guy was well trained. After cleaning the battery terminals and running a compete battery and charging system check, he said the battery needed replacement and he had one on the truck! I had already shopped battery prices at a couple parts stores and found prices ranged from $107 to $180 depending on amps and warranty. So I expected to pay AAA at least $200. I was surprised when the total bill, including a 5-year warranty came to $116. This story illustrates the concept of word-of-mouth and more importantly, this tip is on the importance of great communication. AAA has honed their communication skills and customer service training to a fine art. We can all learn a lesson from this well established service company. In today’s electronic world, great (or poor) service can lead to thousands of comments which can have a huge impact on your business..

Steve Rich
Sterling Bearing, Inc.
N. Kansas City, MO
May, 2017