Thursday, September 10, 2015

Customer service can make (or break) your day

Yesterday on my way to a callback in the far western suburbs, I was following a small white truck on the highway. I couldn't see past or over it, so I maintained what I thought was a safe distance. All of a sudden, a huge section of a truck tire appeared before me. No time to change lanes. I ran over it. It hit the bottom of my car with a jarring force. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the car behind me run over it, too. Fortunately, we all kept driving without apparent incident. 

My heart was racing, of course, but my car seemed on I drove. Until I exited the highway and pulled up to a stoplight. I heard a scraping sound that continued as I made my way down the street. I pulled into a bank parking lot to see some black plastic dangling and rubbing the tire. I pushed it out of the way, made it to my destination. At the callback, I asked if there was a car repair nearby because I didn't want to make the long drive back to the city without having the undercarriage looked at. On the other, I had a lot to accomplish that afternoon, and didn't want to spend hours waiting for the verdict. Lucky for me, there was a Car-X nearby (actually, the helpful person said Carmax...but then another helpful person cleared it up after I couldn't find a Carmax near me. I wonder how often the two get confused.)  

I drove less than three minutes to the Car-X in Aurora. Within minutes, they had my car lifted up. Something had come loose, but they were able to repair it very quickly. And refused to charge me anything or even take a tip. This kind gesture brought tears to my eyes after the frazzlement (my word, but I think it fits) I'd experienced that day. With all of the bad customer service these days, finding a place that was so pleasant, helpful, efficient and nice was quite rewarding. I'm going to give them a great Yelp review, too.

That experience made my day. But when you're not getting great or even good customer service, how do you tamp down frustration? I do my best to take deep breaths, make sure to keep my voice calm and tell myself it's a first world problem.

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