Smiles Alone Do Not Cut It

Customer service is more than just smiling. Yesterday, as I was driving home, my oil light came on in my car. It only came on for a second, maybe only a half second, but it was enough to put a shock into me. You see, my car is a 9 year old Toyota Corolla and has 170,000 miles on it. It is also paid off and we really want to keep
it going for quite a while so as to not have a car payment.

As I continued towards home, I realized that I had not changed the oil for at least six months, perhaps more. I was very concerned at that point and wen straight to a Jiffy Lube Oil Change place. You know the kind, it was 20 minutes or less.

As I pulled into the place, the first person to greet me said, “You know we close in 7 minutes”. Yes, I replied, but I would like my oil changed. He guided me into the bay where the would take over and ushered me into the tiny waiting area.

As I watched them through the window, I saw that all six of the employees where literally attacking my car to get it done. At least one person was below the car in the pit, two were under the hood and several more buzzed about, checking air tire, vacuuming the inside and working together to get it done.

And they did. They got it done in only 11 minutes and I was paid and out the door. I interacted with four people in that shop. The first person asked me if I was there for the signature oil change and reminded me that they were closing in 7 minutes. I’m not sure why he reminded me of that, but it was not important and did not stop me
in mid-stride. Friendly-meter – 2 smiles out of 5.

The second person checked me in and brought up my car in the computer. He was concerned when I told him I was probably out of oil and was very quick, efficient and fairly friendly. Friendly-meter 3 smiles out of 5.

The third person who I interacted with was the man who I aid. He did not smile, he could not have noticed if I was an alien with 4 tentacles and never looked at me. Friendly-meter 0 smiles out of 5.

The last person was the guy who drove my car out of the bay and gave it to me. He was very happy and smiling, right down to his pierced chin. Friendly-meter 5 smiles out of 5.

So, overall, their Friendly-meter was only 2.5 smiles out of 5. Yet, I will go back there. Why? Because they got the job done quickly and professionally, and treated me with respect. Remember, customer service is more than just smiling.

Thanks for reading,



2 responses to “Smiles Alone Do Not Cut It

  1. Becky Carroll

    Brandon, you are right that smiles are not everything. Sounds like this crew was ready to go home! It would be interesting to see what kind of response you get next time you bring in your car (you are doing it sooner this time, right?). Is the smile factor the same/better/worse when they are not itching to leave?

    Consistency of experience is key.

    Great post!

  2. Yes! I will be making sure that I get there on time! I will let you know how they do earlier in the day. 🙂

    – Brandon

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