Mark Matteson publishes his Sparking Success EZine Street newsletter on the first Wednesday of every month. The next newsletter will go out on May 1, 2013
Back to the Future
by Mark Matteson
Do you remember Robert Zemecki's movie trilogy, Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox? The year was 1985. With the help of Dr. Emmett Brown, played perfectly by Christopher Lloyd, Marty McFly is transported back to 1955. These are my two favorite scenes:
Lou: "You gonna order something, kid?"
Marty McFly: "Ah, yeah. Give me-give me a Tab."
Lou: "Tab? I can't give you a tab unless you order something."
Marty McFly: "Right. Give me a Pepsi Free."
Lou: "You want a Pepsi, pal, you're gonna pay for it."
When the car pulls up to the gas station and five young men run out to service the car. McFly stares at this odd scene with his mouth open. It's clear he is some-WHEN else! A time warp. He has been transported back to a different time.
It's a paradigm shift for baby boomers old enough to remember that. It makes you smile and feel sad at once. Where have those days of great service gone? Wait; there is hope.
I was having lunch with Brian O'Brien, Director of Operations, and Chris Shepanek, CEO, of Oil Can Henry's. As we finished our pasta, they made me an offer: "We would like you to experience Oil Can Henry's extraordinary service. Let us buy you an oil change." How could I say no? It was an offer I couldn't refuse. Chris said something I had to write down in my journal, "Necessity is luxury once tasted."
As I pulled into the Issaquah, Washington location, a young man wearing a big smile, a bow tie, white shirt, a circa-1930s cap, and coat ran out to my car with a Seattle Times newspaper for me. He introduced himself by name and told me he would be taking care of me that day. What a great first impression. He proceeded to Wow me with the kind of personalized service you just don't see much of these days. I was "Back to the Future"! Here is what happened:
- The first thing I noticed was the spotlessly clean and organized facility. It looked like a big house on the hill, with a high-peaked roof and a beautiful wood design (as opposed to a glass-and-steel strip mall). There were three bays and, before I left, a long line in each bay. This place was popular. I would soon learn why.
- They checked my turn indicators, my lights, my high beams, and my brake lights. We were just getting started.
- They checked ALL the oils in my truck and put oil samples on a laminated card, warmly explaining what each one-oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid-should look like. They made assessments that were honest and clear. I was impressed with their attitude.
- They checked my radiator fluid and showed me a sample, including the condition of the cap, which they replaced.
- The men working on my car called back and forth to each other in a kind of "Call and Response" manner that let me know exactly what they were doing at each step of the process, like a bee's nest, swirling with positive and focused activity.
- I watched a four-screen split TV monitor of what was happening in real time on all sides and underneath me. They were leveraging technology.
- I never once felt pushed or manipulated as they used forms and simple sales systems to educate me as to what they were doing and why, always offering a choice of yeses throughout. It was a thing of beauty to behold by someone who teaches sales training.
- When they were done, they gave me the receipt with a clear explanation and an invitation to come back with a coupon for $10 off the next visit. I felt so important. I had been Wowed!
With the exception of Nordstrom, I cannot recall a better and more impressive display of service and quality at the retail level. They absolutely spoiled me and it was great. I found myself comparing that level of service to others in the same field. Their competitors are very distant second also-rans.
Who do you go to for service? What do they really offer? Why do you go back? Are you offering extra-mile service and value? OCH does.
"We might forget what they say or do, but we will always remember how they make us feel." I felt like someone special. As I looked at the long line behind, I smiled and understood. These guys get it! They provide service like no other, one Wow after another. Why would I go anywhere else? This was worth driving to. It was a destination. I only wished I had videotaped it. If you want to go "Back to the Future", treat yourself to an Oil Can Henry's experience.
It turns out Oil Can Henry's (OCH) has 87 service centers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Here is an overview and history from their Web site:
Formed in 1978, the company has serviced millions of vehicles with a variety of important services, including the Famous 20-Point Full-Service Oil Change, Automatic Transmission Flush, Cooling System Flush, Emission System Cleaner, Engine Flush, Fuel Filter Replacement, Gear Box Service and Power Steering Flush.
Oil Can Henry's earns its customers' trust with a unique service that involves them in the service and educates them about their vehicle. There are no waiting rooms at Oil Can Henry's. Instead, customers remain in their vehicles, where they can relax with a free newspaper and watch and listen as trained technicians complete the services they request.
OCH's future is so bright it burns my eyes to look at it!
I really need to rent Back to the Future again. My third favorite scene: Dave McFly [kissing George McFly on the head] "See you later, Pop. Whoo! Time to change that oil."
|Book of the Month |
The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence
by Robert Spector and Patrick D. McCarthy
When this book first came out 13 years ago, I took Pat McCarthy to breakfast and interviewed him. He was the top salesman at Nordstrom nationwide. The book was just released. The next-closest salesperson to Pat was a woman in Washington, DC who sold HALF his volume. He made 40 calls a day. He memorized 6,000 names and kept them in his mental rolodex. When I asked him why he was so successful, he replied in a humble manner, "I think it's because I am 'Other-Centered'." It's the opposite of self-centered. It's a Nordstrom term. It means he has empathy, is a great active listener who truly cares about his clients and prospects. He is an extra-mile guy who is focused on making his clients look and feel good.
Do yourself a solid; read this book. Better yet, go experience Nordstrom or OCH. You will be going "Back to the Future".