Customer Connections -Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I had an interesting experience recently with a chain store and it got me thinking about big businesses vs small businesses and how customer support makes all the difference. As a customer, I want to be able to call a business directly about their products - particularly if it's a product I'm not familiar with, or if the price is more than a couple hundred bucks. I think that's a reasonable expectation. I called a larger business yesterday and, after waiting through several recorded menu options, I was placed on a call with a CSR. I asked for some shipping quotes, as I was in the process of pricing around. They gave me the quotes and we ended the call. Larger businesses have a call center, and perhaps a general script that they follow to answer basic caller questions. Beyond that, the rep does not offer any further information, because they likely don't have any valuable information to offer: it's not their job to know the products inside and out. After jotting down the shipping info, I called them back, realizing I forgot to ask a question. I got a different rep. I explained that I had just called for shipping quotes but forgot to ask: is this product currently in stock or is it shipped from somewhere else? She told me it was in stock. I hung up, then thought for a minute. I can't purchase this item RIGHT NOW. I was a little embarrassed to have to do it, but I called a third time, to find out if it is ALWAYS in stock or is the product sometimes not available. It probably seems like an odd question, but generally speaking, if they usually have 1,000 of these products in stock and tend to sell 5 a year, then the chances of it being ready to ship when I'm ready to order are great! And I'd been tossing around the idea of purchasing this item as a birthday gift for a friend, so it was necessary to know it would ship in a timely manner. Since I was not ready to buy now, I'd simply like to know I can get quick shipping when I am ready to take the plunge. My third call brought me to the original CSR who gave me shipping quotes. I recognized his name and sheepishly said, "I think we just spoke, I was looking for shipping rates, etc." He did not acknowledge me or the previous call - just stayed silent. I awkwardly apologized for the follow up and explained that I was not ready to buy and just simply wanted to know if you always have these in stock? Generally speaking, this should be easy enough to answer. The CSR's response was this: "I do not have a crystal ball." I told him I wasn’t looking for a magical answer: just simply, is the product always in stock? And frankly, simply answering, “No, it is not always in stock” would have been a kinder, more professional response. He told me a story about how he was looking at a chair in a store, and walked around the store a bit, then came back to the chair and it had been scooped up by someone else. Moral of the story: BUY NOW! No telling what's down the road. This conversation felt "pitchy" to me. I was on their website and could read the details of the product, but I wanted to know a little more beyond that, about the company and how they do business, how they communicate. All he could really tell me was it was "professional grade". He also mentioned that the product had been recently upgraded. Curious, I asked him what specifically had been upgraded? He referred me to the website. I told him I was on the website and there were no mentions of upgrades, could he elaborate? He could not answer that, either. My interaction with this company gave me all I needed to know. The experience made me realize the small businesses who struggle to survive in these times really deserve our support. They care because they actually have a vested interest in their customers because it is directly proportionate to the survival of their business. Small businesses answer the phone directly when you call, and they educate themselves on their products to a degree that their survival depends on it. They TRULY CARE about supplying a great product to their customers, because they personally
shoulder the wrath if they don't. We are a small business. I work up at the shop some days and listen to Clark on the phone. He treats every caller that picks up that phone with complete respect. He explains the products in detail if someone has a question; he doesn't just answer yes or no, but creates an atmosphere of trust with his words. He converses, he engages, he even asks the customer questions. And he remembers
people when they revisit the shop. He wants
you to be happy. That's the thing with small businesses: our happiness depends on your happiness. We wouldn't want it any other way.
It's important to change anti-freeze/coolant regularly in your car.
IMPROVE THE LIFE OF THE COOLANT SYSTEM COMPONENTS IN YOUR CAR
As you drive, additives in the coolant are consumed and cause the coolant to wear out. Eventually the coolant will become acidic and start to cause corrosion, thus reducing the life of your system.
IMPROVE THE OPERATING EFFICIENCY OF YOUR VEHICLE Regular coolant changes are an inexpensive way to maintain your engine cooling and passenger compartment heating systems.
HELP MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE’S WARRANTY COVERAGE Whether you lease or own your vehicle, coolant exchange is part of your vehicle’s recommended maintenance program, and it is required maintenance to retain related warranty coverage
HOW IS THE COOLANT CHANGED? Your service provider will use O.E. approved equipment to add new coolant while the old coolant is removed. This process ensures that virtually all of the old fluid and contaminates are removed and replaced with clean fluid.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE COOLANT BE CHANGED? Car manufacturers recommend coolant changes at various intervals based upon a combination of driving habits and mileage. Check your owner’s manual or ask your service provider for the recommended intervals. Certain tests can also determine the need for a change of fluid. Color alone has NOT been shown to be a reliable indicator of the need for coolant change.
October Oct. 2 - 6 13th Annual Thunder Beach Autumn Motorcycle Rally - Panama City Beach, Florida Oct. 3 - 6 Las Vegas BikeFest - Las Vegas, NV Oct. 3 - 6 Hurricane Alley Fall Rally - Myrtle Beach, SC Oct. 4 - 6 Mirock Fast by Gast Fall Nationals - Mechanicsville, MD Oct. 5 4th Annual American Legion Toys for Tots Charity Event - Grafton, MA Oct. 5 13th Annual Barrow Co Sheriff's Office Poker Run - Winder, GA Oct. 5 2nd Annual Breast Cancer Poker Run - Jacksonville, FL Oct. 5 7th Annual Downed Biker Rally - Anaheim, CA Oct. 5 8th Annual Chilly Billy Poker Run Hot Rod & Motorcycle Show - Cotati, CA Oct. 5 3rd Annual Poudre River Run - Fort Collins, Colorado Oct. 5 13th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Ride - Colorado Springs, CO Oct. 5 12th Annual Christmas For Kids Poker Run - Lakewood, CO Oct. 5 The 17th Annual T.B. Ride - Littleton, CO Oct. 5 Ride for Hope - Northglenn, CO Oct. 5 Kayden's Fight Benefit Ride - Mound City, KS Oct. 5 Lifehouse Super Hero Ride 2013 - Topeka, KS Oct. 5 All Patriots Ride - Lexington, KY Oct. 5 Shelby County Toy Run - Shelbyville, KY Oct. 5 Solomons Vrsfd 2nd Annual Motorcycle Rodeo - Solomons, MD Oct. 5 Annual Red Helmet Ride - Milleersville and Walkersville, MD Oct. 5 Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run - Elmer, NJ Oct. 5 Disabled Veterans Poker Run - Old Bridge, NJ Oct. 5 1st Annual Toy Run for Edna Mahan Correctional Facility - Lebanon, NJ Oct. 5 6th Annual Poker Run & Fall Festival - Toms River, NJ Oct. 5 First Annual Charity Bike Run - Lcpl. Jon T. Hicks Jr. Scholarship - Cherry Hill, NJ Oct. 5 2nd Amendment MC Benefit Ride - Portsmouth, OH Oct. 5 4th Annual Hocking Hills Fall Poker Run - Logan, OH Oct. 5 Benefit Ride for J.B Burton - Hamilton, OH Oct. 5 Check Your Tailpipe Poker Run - Xenia, OH Oct. 5 Oktoberfest Poker Run - Elmore, OH Oct. 5 Thunder on the River Franklin - Franklin, OH Oct. 5 U.I.W.M.C. 2nd Annual Benefit and Charities Run - Dayton, OH Oct. 5 Make A Wish 6th Annual Benefit Run - Mustang, OK Oct. 5 10th Annual Toys for Tots Benefit Ride - Butler, PA Oct. 5 Freedom Dice Run - Warren, PA Oct. 5 Poker Run for Tim Donley - Leesport, PA Oct. 5 Toy Run - Portersville, PA Oct. 5 2013 Cowtown Round-Up Music Fest & Rally - Fort Worth, TX Oct. 5 2nd Annual Wilbarger County Breast Cancer Fun Ride - Vernon, TX Oct. 5 Cash for the Kids Trivia Run - Hallsville, TX Oct. 5 Chris Stoll Benefit Ride and Scavenger Hunt - Chesapeake, VA Oct. 6 9th Annual Lost Girls Breast Cancer Ride - Visalia, CA Oct. 6 26th Annual High Country Toy Run - Colorado Springs, CO Oct. 6 Webster Monthly Swap Meet and Show - Webster, FL Oct. 6 2nd Annual Santa's Ride - Lawrence, KS Oct. 6 Jennifer J. Harris, USMC, 6th Annual Memorial Bike Run - Middleton, MA Oct. 6 Michigan Dressers MC 26th Annual Toys for Kids Rally - Fraser, MI Oct. 6 Annual Picnic & Boardwalk Ride - Wildwood, NJ Oct. 6 7th Annual Masonic Poker Run - Carneys Point, NJ Oct. 6 Toys for Tots of Central NJ Fall '13 Motorcycle Run - Watchung, NJ Oct. 6 Wantage 2013 6th Annual Veterans Memorial Car, Truck & Bike Show - Wantage, NJ Oct. 6 Ride to Rebuild for the Children's Fresh Air Home - Deptford, NJ Oct. 6 3rd Annual Detective John M. Falcone Memorial Ride - Poughkeepsie, NY Oct. 6 Sonshine Ride - Belmont, NC Oct. 6 19th Annual Stevie Ray Vaughan Remembrance Ride - Dallas, TX Oct. 12 Flat Track Racing - Dacono, CO Oct. 12 Think Pink in October - St. Augustine, FL Oct. 12 Ability 1st Capital City Bikefest 2013 - Tallahassee, FL Oct. 12 Motorcycle Mechanics Institute 37th Anniversary Party Orlando, FL Oct. 12 5th Annual Reindeer Toy Run - Plainfield, IL Oct. 12 Run for the Nuts - Freeport, IL Oct. 12 Cruising Against Cancer - Beloit, KS Oct. 12 Cruise For A Cause: Motorcycle Ride and Poker Run - Bel Air, MD Oct. 12 Poker Run - Taneytown, MD Oct. 12 Ride for Hospice Poker Run - Jefferson City, MO Oct. 12 Jackhammer Run for Children - Deptford, NJ Oct. 12 Riders For a Rare Disease - Garfield, NJ Oct. 12 Operation Red Sleigh Ride 'n Roll - Asheboro, NC Oct. 12 9th Annual Cops for Kids Bike Run - Weaverville, NC Oct. 12 Ride for Addie - Plain City, OH Oct. 12 The Annual Joe Hug James Memorial Poker Run - Plain City, OH Oct. 12 Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 750 10th Annual Poker Run - Ponca City, OK Oct. 12 The Brittney Ride Event for St Jude - Canyonville, OR Oct. 12 Swap Meet and Drag Racing - Oley, PA Oct. 12 Armed Forces Brotherhood 1st Annual Poker Run - Leesport, PA Oct. 12 Poker Run - Reading, PA Oct. 12 3rd Annual Orville Chestnut Ride for Christina - Ashland City, TN Oct. 12 Ride for the Ladies - Corpus Christi, TX Oct. 12 Bumble Rumble Bike Show - Burleson, TX Oct. 12 - 13 Texas Harley Racers Reunion Gathering & Drags - Little River, TX Oct. 13 25th Annual Halloween Witch Ride - Everett, MA Oct. 13 Biker Dog Run - Marking the Wine Country - Sonoma, CA Oct. 13 ABATE 17 Fall Bingo Fun Run - Vacaville, CA Oct. 13 27th Annual A.B.A.T.E. Toy and Food Run - Villa Park, IL Oct. 13 5th Annual G&L Swap Meet - Greenfield, IN Oct. 13 18th Annual St. Louis Bikers for Babies - Maryland Heights, MO Oct. 13 19th Annual Victory Ride - Springfield, MO Oct. 13 Hot Rods on Hamilton - Car & Motorcycle Show - Berkeley Heights, NJ Oct. 13 Zip It Up Run - Newton Falls, OH Oct. 13 Oklahoma City Motorcycle Swap Meet - Oklahoma City, OK Oct. 13 Heidi Michelle Lingle 7th Annual Memorial - Bellefonte, PA Oct. 13 Alvin Blue Santa Motorcycle Ride & Bike Show - Alvin, TX Oct. 17 - 19 OK State H.O.G. Rally - Norman, OK Oct. 17 - 19 Bikers Adult Rally - Wills Point, TX Oct. 17 - 20 Biketoberfest - Daytona Beach, FL Oct. 18 - 20 7th Annual Biketober Fest - Eagle Pass, TX Oct. 19 3rd Annual Bikers Against Child Abuse Tri-Peaks Poker Run - Dardanelle, AR Oct. 19 2013 Jammin' For Vets by NamJam Poker Run & Bike Show - Tucson, AZ Oct. 19 HOGtoberFest XXV - Tucson, AZ Oct. 19 Warriors Brotherhood 1st Annual Autumn Leaf Run - Dubuque, IA Oct. 19 Monkey Butt Poker Run - Wichita, KS Oct. 19 3rd Annual Ride for the Ranch - Las Vegas, NV Oct. 19 Ride for Life Vegas 2013 - Las Vegas, NV Oct. 19 Ride To Restore Poker Run - Williamstown, NJ Oct. 19 The Ride for Hope Poker Run - Lakewood, NJ Oct. 19 Lowbrow Customs' Fall Midwest Moto Swap - Medina, OH Oct. 19 Hare Scramble - Skippack, PA Oct. 19 Fall Foliage Memorial Ride for David - Akron, PA Oct. 19 5th Annual Ables Springs Fire and Rescue Poker and Fun Run - Terrell, TX Oct. 19 USO's Ride for the Troops - Universal City, TX Oct. 19 Space City Cruisers Motorcyle Show - League City, TX Oct. 19 Reads Ride for Literacy - Yorktown, VA Oct. 20 USMC Toys For Tots Biker Run & Auction - Towanda, KS Oct. 20 Bike Rodeo - Northampton, PA Oct. 20 2nd Annual Poker Run to Benefit Carilion Clinic Women's Breast Center - Moneta, VA Oct. 24 - 27 Sparks Halloween Biker Bash - Sparks, OK Oct. 26 2013 Ozark Auto and Motorcycle Poker Run - Springdale, AR Oct. 26 G.W.R.R.A. CA1F 2013 Halloween Fun Run - El Cajon, CA Oct. 26 East Orlando Harley Trunks and Treats Car and Bike Show - Orlando, FL Oct. 26 Ride to Provide - Bronson, FL Oct. 26 2nd Annual Halloween Candy Run - Muskogee, OK Oct. 26 North TX Firefighter Benefit Motorcycle Run and Chili Cook Off - Whitewright, TX Oct. 26 HalloWings of Hope Charity Ride - Burleson, TX Oct. 26 2nd Annual Rally for our Troops - Moody, TX Oct. 27 Howard County Fall Swap Meet - West Friendship, MD Oct. 27 4th Annual Dice Run for Autism - Kansas City, MO Oct. 27 15th Annual T-Town Drags - Tulsa, OK