This morning I had to take my car in to the Mercedez garage for a repair. It’s the first time I’ve visited them, and I have to say, I was very impressed.
I have a Smart Car and it’s on lease, part of the lease agreement is that it’s serviced and maintained at the dealership. Which usually I’m not too happy about.
But I phoned them on Tuesday of this week and they booked me in within 2 days – It was a minor repair so wouldn’t take long, they said I could just turn up and wait whilst the repair was being carried out.
So, chuffed that they could sort the problem out within 2 days, I duly turned up at 08.30am this morning. I parked up and walked towards the service area where I was met in the car park by a member of the service team. “Hello, Mr Nicholls,” he greeted me. “Let me take the keys and I’ll introduce you to Michael our service manager who’ll be looking after you”
He took me into the service reception, introduced me to Michael who completed the paperwork with me. Michael then showed me to the lounge area and offered me a cup of coffee, offered me a newspaper and then told me that the car would be ready within 20 minutes.
The lounge was immaculately clean, Sky TV was on, there was a selection of drinks, hot and cold available and I had use of free wi-fi
20 minutes later, I saw my car being driven from the workshop to the parking space directly outside the reception area. Michael then came to see me in the lounge and told me that the car was ready. We sorted payment out and he then came out to me to the car to check that the fault had been fully rectified and that I was happy.
I couldn’t fault the service.
Now, there’s a big lesson here. I know that there’s a whole debate about big dealerships versus independent garages and which ones offer more value, but Mercedes have clearly thought through their target market.
They know that their car prices are out of reach of the majority of people and it’s cheaper to get servicing done elsewhere. But they also know that there are people who can and will pay the prices that they demand.
Those people are used to great service and they are happy to pay for it. They want to feel valued, looked after and to be made to feel special. For these people price is less an important factor than how they are made to feel.
I came away feeling that personal care and attention was being paid to me, that my custom was valued and they made me feel special.
So, what do you do to make your customers feel special, make them feel that they’re important, as if they’re the only customer you have?