Another man gave flowers to my wife. Should I be angry? Jealous? Should I hunt him down? Threaten him?
I wanted to send him a thank you note.
The perp who gave my wife flowers runs the body shop across the street. Al Mackey of Mackey's Body Shop. And no, he's not a perp. He's a smart businessman. He knows something about customer service.
Body shop work is not high on the list of things on which we want to spend our money. No one thinks to themselves, "Wow, maybe Thursday I'll go body shop shopping." Nope, a trip to the body shop means something or someone caused a dent or scratch in your car and you've got to shell out money to get it fixed or make a claim on your insurance which means you'll still be paying for it over the next three years in higher premiums.
Al knows this. Al knows that no one is really happy to see him, especially when the bill is due. And he knows that a little kindness and a little TLC goes a long way in easing the pain. My wife handed him a check for $2350 and he handed her a bouquet of flowers. Guess what she was talking about all day?
For the price of a bouquet of flowers, a mere pittance in a $2000 plus transaction, Al bought my wife's loyalty, or at least a huge chunk of word-of-mouth and positive feelings.
And for that I applaud him as a master of Customer Service and Marketing. He identified a way to win a customer's heart in an uncomfortable transaction and earn some word-of-mouth advertising on the side.
Thanks Al! It's a great lesson for every business. Make the most uncomfortable transactions pleasantly memorable. Do that and I can guarantee it will get people talking about you.
By the way, did anyone notice how Customer Service and Marketing are so closely linked? Me, too.