Your Front Line Determines Your Bottom Line

One of our clients, DSU (Diesel Service Unit), the Oregon Peterbilt dealer and top GMC truck sales, service, parts and leasing company in the Northwest received the following email from a first-time customer after working on their new customer’s Pace Arrow motorhome:

“Let me first start off by saying what a great experience with your service department. You all were very helpful and upfront about timelines and costs. I appreciate all the help, even going as far as putting on my temporary plate so I could drive the unit home. Your service manager filled in and closed the RO while someone was at lunch that usually does it, to save me time (priceless since I had a 3 hr drive home). I have been in the Car Business for over 20 years after getting out of the military and your service shop and customer service skills were far superior to most, if not all, I have come across in those years!

“Congratulations to your whole team, speaks volumes about the facility and leadership/ownership that employees do such a great job!

“While you were checking on things, your other service writer was very helpful in giving us recommendations as to what services and timeframes to do things to keep that coach running good. He didn’t have to and seemed very willing to help. Again, what a great team effort!

“Thanks, and feel free to share with your manager or GM, you all were very knowledgeable and helpful above the NORM in this industry.”

What do we know about the need for, and payoff of, superior customer service? First and foremost, we know that our customers (and we are all customers) have higher expectations than ever in human history. We expect more, for less, and we want it faster, in fact we want it NOW. We expect error-free, competent service. Our front line people are often the newest people on the team, have the least experience and are some of the lowest paid. They are the ones who make those first impressions that are lasting. They are the ones who must answer the unexpected, out of the blue questions. They are the people who are confronted with customer complaints and special requests.

To exceed our customer’s expectations and create raving fans who sing our praises, we must be careful in the selection process. Provide thorough, thoughtful training, ongoing feedback and coaching, you must provide recognition and rewards for all front line performance that exceeds the normal or average. To do this, you must have a meaningful way of collecting information on your customers’ experiences and be sure everyone hears about, learns about the thrilled customers and unhappy customers equally.

Sounds like a big job and it is. The rewards for doing it well are a lifetime of stretching, growing, meaning and purpose. Are you up for it?

Salem Leadership Development Lab Coming Soon