The Art of Motor Maintenance

We like car mechanics! Over Christmas I received more positive customer experience stories about cars than anything else. Here are the best ones. Of course I couldn’t resist slipping in a story about cycling too, it does involve a car though! Thanks for the contributions, we’ll keep sharing them. Keep your positive customer experience radar tuned and please tell us when it picks something up.

My car broke down the weekend before last in Shrewsbury. I called out Audi Assistance (who are the RAC it turns out). Kevin from the RAC is immediately friendly and informative, telling me what he is finding. It turns out one of the ignition coils has blown. In trying to get a replacement for what turns out to be an uncommon part for my type of car, Kevin firstly calls Audi, then local specialists, then other members of the RAC (including one Kevin is aware is on a day off). The implications of not finding the part are that I will need to accompany the car on the back of a lorry 300 miles back up to Edinburgh, and cut short my weekend. Although he wasn’t aware of this it would also mean I missed my Mum’s 70th birthday party. So it would be good if the car could get fixed….

Eventually he tracks down an RAC colleague who he gets to drive 15 miles across to Shrewsbury with the elusive coil (all off his companies radar as this is not standard practice). Once we get the part he fits it but also has to replace a difficult to get at fuse that involves removing the windscreen wipers (!) – an absolute bugger of a job. He does all of this with a smile, a whistle and uncommon good grace.

Two hours from when he arrived – the cars starts! Ya beauty!

Kevin then contacts Audi and gets them to confirm that they will replace all 4 ignition coils as a precautionary measure when I get back up to Edinburgh. He puts this in writing for me along with reference numbers and his contact details in case there are any queries.

My sister in law came out and gave him a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit though so I guess we are even…..

Mark Laird

My best customer experience was calling my mechanic over the holiday period as my car had a serious fault. He let me bring in my car immediately to try to get it fixed before I needed it for a long journey. He looked at the car straight away while I was there, even though clearly busy with other work, and he explained and showed me everything he was doing and what was wrong with it. Even though he couldn’t fix it he recommended someone who could, left them a message himself so they’d expect me and told me exactly what to tell them. He even made sure I didn’t get charged for installing a new component which didn’t fix the car – he sent it back when he could have added it to my bill.

Mhorag Goff

As a customer the best experience I had recently was at the garage where my Mini was serviced.

The technology they now use stores all the car management data on a file stored in the key at the desk. We were able to discuss issues and see if any symptoms had been recorded in the file. This enabled the garage to immediately determine the work effort and parts needed before the car was driven off the forecourt into the repair bay. This shortened the time I spent at the garage. The WIFI and free fresh coffee made the whole experience a pleasure.

Mark Frankland

I know a lot of motorists get “bad press” among cyclists, but I would like to share a good moment…

I was riding home last night in the dark and on a straight section of road where there are a couple of blind summits, a silver BMW stayed patiently behind. When it was clear he/she (couldn’t tell), moved out to the other side of the road for a distance before pulling in. As the car passed I raised my hand to acknowledge their patience as I always do. When he had passed, he flashed on his hazard lights as acknowledgement. I noticed that it was a personalised number plate, which was easy to remember.

An easy gesture, but one that restores one’s faith in human nature, and I contentedly enjoyed the rest of the ride in a good mood.

Paul Tunnell

A Positive Customer Experience, Part One

I commute by bike into London when I can. Well today, I had to resort to the train (booo).

When I got to the station the newspaper guy spotted me coming and already had my paper ready. I haven’t seen him for weeks. That proactive service gave us a few seconds to talk. We talked about working over Christmas, he suggested I cycle in on the days he is closed (well he can’t sell me a paper when he’s not open). We wished each other a Happy Christmas. I also bought two other things (unplanned). Good work newspaper guy.

I want to ask you a question:

Can you please share with us the very best customer experience that has happened to you in the past few weeks? It’s got to be a great one, no whingers or misery guts for now, that comes later!

Hurry up now, don’t be shy 🙂