A few months ago I had the occasion to rent a car for a week-long trip that was to begin on New Year’s Day. I called one of the large, national car agencies a couple of weeks in advance to reserve the vehicle. On this particular trip I was going to be traveling alone, so all I needed was a mid-size car—nothing fancy, because I was going to be driving to three separate engagements over the period of the week.
I was told by the representative to pick up the vehicle at a local auto dealer on December 30 by 5pm, since everyone but the airport was going to be closed on the 31st.
OK, fast-forward to the 30th. I was on my way to pick up the car around 2pm when my cell phone rang. It was the car rental company calling to let me know the dealership closed early for the holiday—without their prior knowledge–and that I wouldn’t be able to pick up my car at that location.
“Is it too much trouble to pick it up downtown?” the young man asked?
“Not at all,” I said. “I’ll be down in a few minutes.”
I must tell you that the downtown location is perhaps an extra 10 miles out of my way—it was truly no problem for me to pick up my car there. In fact, it was easier because I could leave my personal vehicle nearby and pick it up later instead of having it locked up inside the car dealership’s lot all weekend.
When I arrived at the downtown location, the young man apologized and informed me that because of the inconvenience they were going to upgrade me to a full size SUV for my trip—one that got 30 miles to the gallon. I tried to tell him that wasn’t necessary, but he insisted that I accept their apologies and enjoy the larger, more comfortable car.
Was this necessary? Absolutely not. Did I like it? YOU BET!
This company has trained their employees to look for opportunities to WOW customers with exceptional customer service and be (my favorite phrase) a DIFFERENCE MAKER!
I’m talking about Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
There is even a book about this amazing company, Exceeding Customer Expectations: What Enterprise, America’s #1 car rental company, can teach us about creating lifetime customers by Kirk Kazanjian.
It should be required reading for all salespeople. Don’t you want to exceed your customer’s expectations and have lifetime customers?
Are you literally looking for opportunities to WOW your customers? Are you looking for ways to exceed their expectations and put miles between you and the competition?
With one, small act, Enterprise created a lifetime customer with me but, also a fanatic! I love telling people about great customer service—partly because it is seldom seen anymore.
So, for professional salespeople, if you search out these small, DAILY opportunities to really and truly WOW your clients, they WILL tell people. Sadly, most are used to settling for less-than-stellar customer service, so when someone like you goes above and beyond the call of duty—it is something worth talking about—or as, my friend Dean Lindsay calls it “Buzz Worthy”.
Question: Have you turned lemons into lemonade in your business? Share your story!