Service Excellence

Service Excellence by Dr. Robert Gerwig

Photo by Author

Like many, you may dread getting your car serviced! Some liken it to a trip to see the dentist for a root canal. You are concerned about getting ripped-off, taken advantage of. You fear having a long wait for you car to get serviced. You know they’re going to find 10 more things wrong with the car than what you already know. In sum, you dread getting your car serviced because of poor service excellence. You want to be respected, treated fairly, and given great service but you believe such a place only exists in your dreams.

Well, I’ve experience such a place. Yes, tis true! There is a service department that I would recommend to anyone. They are timely, honest and professional. They aren’t perfect, but they communicate clearly, deliver as promised and go the extra mile. They aren’t free, but they don’t overcharge or have exorbitant fees.

For several years, I’ve been taking my cars to this dealership. And they deliver. One of their service managers, in particular, gives world-class service. He is the epitome of service excellence. He smiles, demonstrates empathy and tries to find ways to reduce the repair/maintenance bill. The following is not an exhaustive list but is a sampling of things he has done:

  1. Provided a loaner car
  2. Made fresh coffee in the customer lounge
  3. Promptly called as promised with the diagnosis
  4. Referred me to another service business for a particular repair because it was less expensive
  5. Greeted me at the door
  6. Remembered the names of my family
  7. Washed the car after servicing
  8. Clearly explained service and repair options
  9. Talked me out of spending money on a repair or service
  10. Automatically applied all available “specials” or discounts without my asking

You might say, sounds good but he’s just doing his job. Well, I agree. Sorta. Yes, he’s competent, but he’s also nice. He may be “just doing his job”, but he’s “just doing his job” better than anyone, by far, that I’ve dealt with in the same profession. He’s knowledgeable, but he’s also empathetic and relational. He delivers as promised or adjusts on the fly as needed (i.e. let me keep a loaner car overnight because they didn’t get the repairs completed on my car by the close of business). He never talks down to me (even though I’m not mechanically inclined). He treats me with respect and demonstrates kindness.

Ok, part of the reason I love this service department is this particular service manager. But honestly, the entire dealership has helpful employees who are keen to serve. They understand that service excellence is a win-win. The customer is delighted and returns, buying more cars and more servicing. The dealership is delighted because they’re making a positive return on their investment. The employees are delighted because of job security, strong compensation and the personal satisfaction of helping others.

Regardless of what you do, the world-class leader recognizes and understands the importance and value of service excellence. Customer loyalty, economic value and relational health are all enabled, at least in part, by service excellence. Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor, understands this. Ritz Carlton understands this. Chick-fil-A understands this. Cathay Pacific understands this. The good news is that many intelligent individuals and organizations understand service excellence is a win-win. Are you one of them? Do you appreciate world-class service? Do you give it?

It doesn’t matter whether you stay at home, work in a skyscraper downtown or hang out somewhere in-between. You can make a difference in the lives of others by your willingness to serve customers, colleagues, neighbors, friends, suppliers, communities, governmental organizations, etc.. It not only positively affects them, it positively affects you! It will put a smile on your face. And it’s good for business. It’s good for relationships. It’s good for the recipient of your service excellence.

The name of the dealership? Flow Acura in Winston-Salem, NC. The name of the service manager? Email me.

What stories of service excellence do you have? World-class service you’ve experienced as a customer, friend, or supplier? Any service excellence tips you’d like to share with other readers?

Dr. is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]

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