Last updateWed, 25 Mar 2020 1pm

Customer service blunder

Customer service is not something we choose to provide to one person and not another. Customer service is something that should be consistently applied to every customer who takes the time to come to us.

Confused? Let me illustrate with a story, a true story.

We were on vacation a few weeks ago and rented a car for our road trip. During the trip, the engine light came on. We called the rental car company and asked what they wanted us to do. They said to take it to the nearest dealership and have it looked at and repaired if necessary.

We called the local dealership and they said to bring it in that afternoon and they would look at it and repair it. We took it in and they quickly diagnosed the problem as a thermostat that would not close. We called the rental company and they gave the go ahead to complete the repair.

We told the mechanic we were dealing with to go ahead and his response was, “Oh, I can’t fix it, I don’t have time.” That’s not what he said on the phone. He said, “Bring it in, we will figure out the problem and fix it for you.” There are two issues here, one is factually true and the other is a hunch, a hunch I am confident in.

The first thing is a broken promise, the mechanic said he would fix the problem and get us back on the road. That never happened. You can’t make promises to customers and then not follow through on them.

My hunch is that if we were paying customers, he would have found a way to squeeze us in. It felt like because he wasn’t going to get paid, the rental car was under warranty, then he had no time for us. We were also out of towners and unlikely to return as a repeat customer, so why bother. Again, this is a hunch, but after 40+ years in the customer service business, I’d be willing to bet on it.

The point is this, every single customer deserves your very best. It doesn’t matter if they are a repeat customer or a customer you have never seen before and are likely to never see again, they all deserve the highest level of customer service.

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.