A Word of Encouragement and a Word on Customer Service

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“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” — Edith Lovejoy Pierce, 20th-century poet

To start the New Year, I wanted to give you some encouragement. While some customers may have preconceived notions about the quick lube industry, that’s just because they don’t know you. You have an opportunity to start fresh and break down any negativity you might face.

Whether your store had a difficult 2014 or had one of its best years to date, the clock was reset as soon as the New Year rang in. What wonderful news! A brand new start; a brand new opportunity to prove to both your loyal and new customers they made the right decision coming to your shop for their automotive needs.

One thing we at NOLN like to emphasize is customer service. Customer service can make or break a customer’s experience. To make a point, I’d like to share an experience I had at my local grocery store.

There is a grocery chain throughout areas of Texas called United Supermarkets. Under the United umbrella, are also Amigos, Albertsons Market, United Express and Market Street.

I have always had fabulous experiences at United. The aisles are wide so two carts can be pushed down the same aisle without bumping into one another. The stores are always clean, which is important for perception when you’re shopping for food. But most of all, the employees are helpful and genuine.

I recently became a new mom, and I was walking into the store carrying my months-old baby in her car seat while hoisting a monstrosity known as a diaper bag on my shoulder. I walked into the entrance where smaller shopping carts were stored. I tried placing my daughter’s car seat into the cart, but the car seat was too big for the cart. A worker saw me struggling and asked if I needed a bigger cart, which was on the other side of the store. I said yes, and he ran to get me the larger shopping cart. Then, he helped me situate the car seat and plop the diaper bag in the cart.

Now, any new mom can tell you their hormones are still slightly off balance even a few months after having a baby, and I was struggling. The employee’s kindness during that difficult time will always stick with me. He saw an opportunity to help me and make my shopping experience easier. He made a lifelong customer an advocate of their stores and a believer in their hospitality.

You will have similar opportunities in 2015. Customer service is so much more than just doing what is expected of you well; it’s doing something as small as bringing a larger shopping cart to someone to make their day.

Seek out the small things, make your customers’ experiences above and beyond what they expect, and they will become loyal customers and advocates of your shop.

Hoping your holidays were blessed, and here’s to 2015!

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