The customer looked worried. Her car had malfunctioned suddenly, but only once. By the time she was at our repair shop, the car was running fine.
She asked if it was safe to drive her car; for a split second, we thought, well, if the vehicle is running fine, and it only malfunctioned once, maybe we can have the customer drive a few miles, and if symptoms return, we can then further inspect.
The customer mentioned her mother being ill. She was on the way to see her when the car did what it did. Her mother was possibly in her last moments. It was important to get to her.
What if that was our mother? Or even grandmother who was sick? We had to put ourselves in her shoes.
We decided it was best to keep her car. Most rental car places were closed. She did not have many options; she stood thinking while looking at her daughter, who was with her, and we immediately tried to figure out what to do next.
We started to look for a rental car location that would be open. The distance was no longer an issue because it became a personal mission to help our customer get to her mom safely.
Almost two hours passed, but we got our customer to a rental location. As a bonus, we negotiated a lower rate with the rental facility (yes, most repair facilities have lower rates, but only when you have partnered with them).
We knew that came Monday; her car might not need anything, sometimes cars won’t repeat the symptoms.
Perhaps, no sale will be made, the time and effort into this customer, we did it from our heart, because that is our purpose, not to sell unnecessary work, but to be honest, to help others while we run our business.
Not too long ago, we had a gentleman walk into our office. After a few minutes of talking about our business, our purpose, what we do, and how we do it, he suddenly said, “If you continue to be too nice to people, you will never succeed in this business. You need to make money, not friendships”.
Yes, rent, utilities, salaries, insurance needs to be paid, and yes, sales are the only way for us to fulfill our responsibilities. But we believe in building good relationships. Relationships that lead to loyal customers, those customers will support our business, who will trust us, and will help us succeed.