Sincerely - A Letter to the Shop Greeter

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				secretary-1

Dear Shop Greeter,

I am a loyal customer. I have been bringing my car to your quick lube for seven years. She’s 13 years old and might as well be considered a family member. She’s been there through graduations, break-ups and meltdowns, wild Friday nights and lazy Sunday mornings. She’s moved me five times and taken care of me for 143,457 miles. She likes long drives on two-lane roads, 80s rock tunes, the wind in her windows and 5W-30 motor oil. She’s taught my brother to drive and has watched me grow up. She’s paid-off, too, so no car payment means more fun for everyone. I want to take care of her like family, but I don’t have to tell you that, you already know.

Even though you’re not the one in the bay or underneath my car, you’re still just as important to the health of my car. You’re behind the desk, answering my phone calls and greeting me with a smile when I walk in the door. If I call ahead to see if the shop is busy and you say it’s a good time to come in, I know I won’t be waiting for very long until your team can get to my girl. You’re friendly, organized and professional. You know me by name, but, most importantly, you know my car.

You understand I don’t want to hassle with telling you what she needs. I just need you to know (and I trust that you do). I appreciate when you can answer all my questions, no matter how big or small and in the few instances you can’t, you always find someone in the shop who can.

Remember when my car got a flat and I was just down the road from your store? You answered the phone and were the calm I needed in the middle of that situation. You advocated for me, yet didn’t charge me a dime. Before I knew it, I was on the road again. I appreciate you going the extra mile so I could go another 40,000 miles. That’s why I keep coming back.

You are good at your job. You’re organized, and I bet if I asked you to pull the history on my car you could find every single piece of paperwork. That’s handy because I’m quite the opposite. As soon as I’m given my receipt, it goes in the glove compartment or is crumpled and shoved in the trash.

When I decide to wait inside, the waiting room is always clean and tidy. I enjoy sipping a cup of coffee or cool bottled water and flipping through a magazine while I wait on my car. It’s always an enjoyable experience. I like that WiFi isn’t a commodity around your place. If I need to bring my laptop and get some work done while I wait I can — you’ll let me know when my car is ready to go.

Now and then, I see better deals advertised around town on marquees outside other auto shops, but I know the extra $5-$10 I spend with you is well worth it because of the experience and treatment I receive.  Because you’re my advocate, I am yours. Whenever friends or family ask me where is a trusted, reliable and safe place to take their car, I will always say your place.

Sure, over the years I have seen faces come and go from behind your reception desk, but the customer service I receive stays the same. Either your owner has fantastic luck hiring exceptional people or knows how to hire good employees and trains them to be exceptional. Kudos to that guy or gal; he or she knows what they’re doing! I believe if the person answering the phone is exceptional at their job, chances are the people actually working on my car will be first-rate, too. It seems like your boss understands that too.

Listen, I get it; people with your job are some of the hardest working but seem to get the rap for having “the easiest” job. The tactics of your job may not be as complicated as something more technical under the hood of a car, but keeping your cool with a flustered or rude customer on the other end of the line isn’t easy either. Whatever you do, don’t believe the lie that your job is easy. Don’t minimize your duties. Don’t think what you do isn’t important, and definitely don’t fall into a rut of going through the motions. You’re the face of the quick lube, and most of the time that means being the one who has the privilege of deciding what the customer’s first impression is. You’re just as vital to the bottom-line of the business as the service writer, lube tech, master mechanic or accountant. Keep raising the bar and making customers feel important, because you certainly are.

 

Sincerely,

Crazy Car Lady  S

 

Sidebar:

If you’re a reader of the National Oil & Lube News blog (noln.net/blog) you may remember a post we published in March of 2015 called “Dear Service Writer.” The letter was written from the customer point-of-view and gave a nod to hard working service writers. The response NOLN received after publishing that letter sparked us to launch a new series. We’ve decided to call the series “Sincerely.” In this series, we will explore the different roles in the quick lube business through letters from the customer. Hopefully, as you prepare for the rush of customers the colder months bring this will encourage you to rethink or show some due appreciation to the people you work with every day. In this first installment of “Sincerely,” we learn from a customer why the office staff at your quick lube can make or break your customer experience.

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