Saturday Spotlight: Autopark Honda and Preston Center Optometry


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I had the opportunity to be WOW’ed with two examples of extra(ordinary) customer service in the past week.

The first comes from Autopark Honda. This is my second time bringing the grocery getter to the Honda dealership in Cary. BTW – grocery getter is a more manly way of saying minivan. Anyway, I bring the Odyssey in to get serviced. It’s an overall great experience. The service attendant is attentive, there is complimentary hot coffee/bottled water, a popcorn machine and even a separate kids area. But this happened to be a Thursday, so there is something special on tap. Here’s the rub:

autopark honda purple goldfish

autopark cary free massageFree massages on Thursdays. I immediately B-line over to the sign-up sheet and put my name down. A few minutes later I’m in the chair and in heaven. Deep tissue all the way. All waiting should be this pleasurable.

Goldfish Takeaway: If you are a successful business, you are going to have customers that need to wait. Figure out ways to at least make the waiting a little less painful. (Related Post: A dozen ezamples of how companies handle waiting with a little extra)

The second example comes from Preston Optometry in Cary. Last Thursday I was getting ready to meet my friend Hank Barnes. Hank is an analyst at Gartner and we were meeting out for lunch at Two Guys Grille for some cheesesteaks (Note: I lived in Philly for three years, these chicken cheesesteaks are legit.) As I’m getting ready I sit down on my bed. I notice getting up that I just partially sat on my glasses. Big whoops. My brother would call that a GM, as in genius maneuver. They are wireframe Silhouette TMA Icons. Having bent them before and not thinking, I quickly bend the one arm back and SNAP. Uh oh, trouble.

silhouette broken frames

Now I’m not totally blind without my glasses, so driving to lunch is still doable. I ask my wife Jenn to see if she can research potential fixes while I’m at lunch. Fast forward after a great lunch at Two Guys and a quick hello to their manager Justin Williams, I call Jenn and get the bad news. Unfixable and I might need new frames. I cringe for a number of reasons. First, I’m heading to Russia on Tuesday to speak. Second,  I’ve had these frames for three years . . . translation: no warranty. Third, they are damn expensive. The frames retail for roughly $400 and that’s before the prescription and your lenses. I cringe again. Perhaps I’m going to have to give up my beloved Silhouettes. Jenn and I discuss a potential trip to Target or Costco for some new spec’s. Maybe order a pair of glasses online from Warby Parker (Related post: MENG Blend post featuring Warby Parker as a Green Goldfish)

Preston Optometry CaryThen I remember something that Hank mentioned. He recommended Preston Optometry as being reasonable with good service. I drive there with low expectations. I walk in and I’m greeted immediately by Will the optician. I lift my glasses to show Will, muttering with a defeatist tone, “Is there anything you can do. Are these fixable?” Will asks if I bought them in the last two years. I respond in the negative and he says, “No worries, we can order an extra arm for $95 (no tax) and I might be able to get you a fix while they come in.” He grabs my injured frames and three minutes later he comes back with a replacement arm in my glasses. Preston Optometry happened to have an older arm, but for the same model of Silhouette TMA Icons. Will then sat me down and adjusted my glasses to make sure the fit was OK. He then took my phone number and said that he’ll call when the proper replacement arm comes in. I asked him if I needed to pay now. He said NO, we’ll have you settle up when the part comes in. I mentioned my trip to Russia. He said, “No problem, come in after your trip.” Wow – I walked out of the store floored. Preston Optometry went the extra mile, fixing my glasses on the spot and then actually trusted that I’d come back.

Goldfish Takeaway – Adding a little extra service to go “above and beyond” is key. I would’ve been happy to order the extra arm, but it wouldn’t have replaced the need to have a pair of glasses for Russia. Preston Optometry provided the temporary fix and then exhibited something uncommon. They actually treated me like an adult and trusted me. This reminds me of a story from Zane’s Cycles in Connecticut. Zane’s will let any customer take a bike out for a spin. No drivers license or credit card needed. No sign your life away form required. Just take the bike out and see if you like it. They trust the customer. Think that’s easy? Some of the high end bikes sell for $5,000 and above. Chris says he loses a few bikes a year (usually lower end models), but he thinks the convenience and trust factor is well worth it. (See related post and video: Zane’s maximizes the lifetime value of a customer) What do you do to go the extra mile for your customer?

1006298_10151834788547783_551123508_nToday’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – I had a chance to go to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival on Friday. Talk about a triple threat, it was a great event. Jenn and I were joined by good friends Tiffany and Derik.

Derik mentions my newsletter from earlier in the week and says, “I looked at your speaking demo and I like that video a student made in the related videos on YouTube.” I’m clueless and Derik shows me on his phone. A very cool video on the Purple Goldfish by UMHB by student Rachel Fink. Thanks Rachel, awesome job:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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