On my way into work I stopped at a gas station along my usual route to fill up. It’s a station I’ve frequented many times, and often will specifically visit because they have a promotional program which allows me to shave a few cents off each gallon.
On most days, pumping my own gas doesn’t demand four-star customer service, but if a problem does arise, I do expect a solution. On this particular morning, I had swiped my rewards card, along with payment and was anticipating a $0.20 savings per gallon of gas. Not exactly enough to retire on, but enough to give me a “feel good” moment to start the day.
Waiting a few seconds, then a few more, the gas wasn’t flowing, so I walked into the station to get an explanation. The answer I received was the pump I used had been “acting up” for some time, followed by a shrug of the shoulders by the clerk.
I suggested they put a sign on the pump explaining as much and though he offered to process my transaction at the counter, I declined the opportunity and took my business elsewhere. I didn’t get my $0.20 per-gallon discount, and I’m sure the station won’t miss my business.
But sometimes it’s the simplest solutions that are the hardest to provide and they can have long-term consequences. No dealer wants to see a loyal customer walk out of their store and never come back.
Precision technology is more complex than pumping gas, and customers often want to hold the dealer accountable when something goes wrong. Taking the time to listen and respond with a solution can be the difference between a customer keeping their business with you or finding another option.
Precision managers often speak of finding employees who excel in the “soft skills” of interaction. Communication, personality and patience all play into this make-up.
In my case, I likely lost out on less than a dollar’s worth of savings. But poor customer service can cost precision dealers far more.