Going Above and Beyond
Award Winning Service from Lacombe Auto Service Centre
One of the things we have been talking about with our peers in the automotive industry is how we, as new owners in this industry, come at the business from a different perspective. We aren’t mechanics, meaning our experience with the industry was always from the customers perspective. When a mechanic starts his own garage, the focus is on the vehicles because that’s what they know best. Our focus is on the customer experience, not the vehicle. This might explain why we are evolving so quickly in our new business, because our focus is a bit different. This change of perspective is significant.
We understand business is all about building long term relationships with our customers. Sometimes our customers need a little bit of help from us. Here’s some examples of times when we needed to step up for our customers to help them solve a problem. Sometimes it’s a big thing, sometimes it’s small, but all are still appreciated.
- Warranty: We offer a 1 year, 20,000kms warranty on our work when we source the part and install it. Usually, if there is a warranty issue, it is due to a failed part. This isn’t our fault, it happens. But our customers know we will do the replacement for free anyway because we stand by our work. We recently had a warranty job come in just under the wire of warranty expiry. (Literally days) It was a big job too, 6 hours to swap the defective part out. We didn’t even blink, and did the work free of charge. Our customer responded by saying he and his family are customers for life because of our commitment to standing behind our work with a strong warranty and the fact that we didn’t even hesitate. Our warranty’s aren’t conditional, some independent garages will insist in order to keep your warranty with them you must have ALL work done at their shop ongoing. (Including oil changes) We don’t place that type of restriction on our warranty.
- Warranty: Another cool example of going above and beyond. We replaced an alternator for a customers’ son before he was to head up to Edmonton for school. The alternator failed within a week of putting it in and left the young man stranded in the city. Again, without hesitation we called up a garage we knew had a great rep in Edmonton and we knew the owners personally. We paid to have the customers car towed over to that garage and between the two garages we worked out getting the part fixed and warranty coverage settled. It cost us twice what the original repair cost to provide this level of service. We worked out some of the bill with our parts supplier but we swallowed quite a bit of the cost. We have a strong network of independent garages in Alberta that we have gotten to know since taking over the garage so these connections come in handy when we have a case like this.
- Dealing with the small stuff: We recently had a family from BC come in with a blown engine. They were travelling through from Saskatchewan. We were able to get a used engine in for a reasonable price, but the repair was going to take a week or so; mainly because the engine was coming out of BC. They wanted to fly home until it was ready to go. They also had a holiday trailer to park until the vehicle was repaired. Not only did we park the trailer in our enclosed compound, but we took care of the dirty dishes and food from the fridge that would spoil waiting for the repair. No charge for storing the trailer, of course.
- Solving a problem: We had a customer who was selling a car. The buyer was from Camrose and he requested an inspection on the vehicle. The seller was leaving town. So while the cash was dealt with via e-transfer, we held the bill of sale at our shop until the inspection was complete and we released it to the buyer with the keys with permission from the owner. Sometimes, it is the little things.
- Service has no boundries: Just because its Friday our service doesn't stop at the end of day. A customer from Calgary was travelling through one Friday on her way to northern Alberta to see her boyfriend. Her car broke down and unfortunately we couldn’t get the parts in until Monday. She was faced with grabbing a hotel for the weekend to wait and would miss her weekend with her boyfriend. We suggested it would be cheaper to find a car rental for the weekend then a hotel room. The problem was it was 4pm and the car rental places were close to closing. Three of us got busy on the phones until we were able to source an available rental in Red Deer (most places were booked) and then we drove her to Red Deer to pick up the rental!
We could come up with a million of these stories as we do a lot of little and big things every week.
We understand that our customer is more then just a transaction. Our business wouldn’t exist without a loyal following of customers who trust us with their vehicles. In order to grow our business, we know we need to put our customers first. Even when we are dealing with a customer from out of town in what is usually an emergency situation, we know the power of positive energy and that the world is connected by a matter of degrees. These small acts can garner some excellent customer reviews and referrals.
Learn more about us on our Website and our Business Profile on LacombeLive.
Elaine and Donnie Lysons
Lacombe Auto Service Centre, AMA Approved Vehicle Repair Shop
3710 52 Avenue, Lacombe, AB T4L 0B8