I had to have four tires replaced yesterday, and the experience was awesome.
No, I did not appreciate the cost of my run flats, but the environment established by this particular small business was amazing.
Referred by my mechanic, I expected the usual tire place. Cookie cutter – the four tires up on the wall with a lot of sales displays and an area for miscellaneous items like windshield washer fluid and car mats. Behind the counter would stand three or four individuals, frantically rustling through keys placed on top of invoices. The furniture would be cheap and stained, and newspapers would be lying haphazardly across the old couches.
Instead, I drove up to a beautiful hunter green sign that said “Vondalehr Tires.” Walking in the door, I was immediately greeted by a man in “uniform” – blues jeans with a pressed long-sleeved navy blue tee-shirt. The mechanics wore the same outfit.
“Hello, how may I help you today?” I was asked. I told them my name, they remembered my phone call, and gave me an approximation on wait time.
While I waited on the clean, antique bench, I witnessed an amazing conversation. The owner asked a mechanic about a particular customers situation. The mechanic said the problem was worse than they expected. The owner simply dug deeper, saying, “Tell me more so I can explain it to the owner of the car.” He trusted the mechanic’s message.
Then he said, “What solution do we have for them? Who would do the best work on an issue like this?” Two more mechanics came in and shared their opinion, and he wrote down a referral source.
I listened to him relay this message to the owner of the car with the problem. He started by saying, “We replaced the tires, but you have a bigger issue. It might cost a little bit, but it will be worth the fix and it will save your tires in the future. I have a great guy who can take care of this, and will call him from here if you’d like.” The customer wasn’t even angry, just relieved.
The bottom-line is always behaviors. Look around you. The best leaders create a positive environment because they:
Are you that leader?