Why customer service is SO important

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I'm sitting here writing this from the mechanics office. Normally this is a super uncomfortable experience for me - I'm the girl who knows nothing about cars and mechanics have a way of taking advantage of that fact… but this place is different. From the moment I walked into the beautiful air conditioned office, sat down in the incredibly comfortable couch, was offered tea, coffee, muffins, access to the free wi-fi and an impeccably dressed man who was happy to help came and got me signed in, and they offered to drive me back home. When I told him my problem in my super awkward manner of explaining car problems he paid attention, tried to understand, and didn't look at me with the condescension I am do used to.

Now I'm at the manufactures service centre, which everyone knows is more expensive than the generic mechanic, and everything inside me is saying that this mechanic is more expensive and I should just go somewhere cheaper - I know how marketing works, and I know that customer service is part of that, and yet I still love the thought and care that goes into it, and more importantly… I'm happy to pay for that extra service.

Not every business is the quality brand, some focus on being the cheapest - but for those in the quality market, if you want to charge more - customer service is key. Customers WILL pay more for exceptional customer service they won't pay more if the service is terrible, and they will go somewhere else.

In the grand scheme of things it didn't cost much (especially considering the mark up on their hourly rate and parts), a few muffins, a friendly sales person/receptionist and a nice place to wait, and a ride home.

What ways can you improve your customer service? Are there any extra services you can offer, can you train your staff to be more helpful and caring, can you add in a bonus here or there? What are you doing to go the extra mile with your customers. I guarantee it's the little things that keep customers coming back!

UPDATE: They even washed my car!! Now that is customer service