Show 'Em Some Love! - BodyShop Business
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Show ‘Em Some Love!

Remember to love the consumer and make them love you.


Anger is a great motivator. But in my 53 years here on Earth, I’ve learned that things done out of anger usually don’t result in a positive outcome, especially when a long-term outlook is applied. Having said that, I intend to continue on with this anger-driven rant anyway.

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In today’s rush-rush lifestyle, many of us and our families are being pushed beyond the capabilities of what used to be called “normal daily activities.” I firmly believe that we are driving our kids and ourselves way beyond what would have been determined by previous generations as excessive. The amount of information thrown at us on a daily basis is mind-boggling. The New York Times recently reported that the amount of information in one week’s worth of its newspapers is more than a reader in the 18th century would encounter in a lifetime. The bottom line is that we have more thrown at us today, and we’re also trying to do way more.


This leads me to my story. Like many 2010 families, we at the Shriber household are trying to do too much. Little things start to drop. No surprise here when the letter from the gas company comes and says it hasn’t been able to access our meter in six months. We responded with a phone call and set an appointment.

The appointment day comes, and my daughter answers the door. The gas representative tells my 14-year-old that, due to company policy, she can’t read the meter because my daughter is not an adult. Okay, I get all that, and if that was the end of the story, this incident wouldn’t have been that significant. But it’s not the end. While the gas worker was sitting in her truck writing down the occurrence, my wife returned home and immediately approached the vehicle so we could get our meter read. Here’s where my rage comes from: The meter-reader looked at my wife and said, “Oh, you missed your appointment and so I’ve canceled the reading. By the way, there will be a $10 fee to set up another one.”


Take a minute to reread this previous statement because it’s obviously a misprint, right? How stupid or non-customer-oriented could a service provider be? I’m not kidding about what the meter-reader said. The sad thing is, as is the case with most utilities, we don’t have a choice of providers, so we’ll be forced to call back and pay the $10 so we can continue to have the privilege of them providing us natural gas.

In our industry, customers do have a choice, so I think it’s important for us to look at obviously ridiculous situations like these and reflect on our own businesses. You need to make sure there are not situations or policies that put our customers in an angered state. A speaker at the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium I attended recently in Chicago summed it up perfectly: “Love the consumer and make them love you.”


In today’s fast-paced world, our customers just don’t have the tolerance for inconvenience. Our business tends to be considered by most of our customers as a problem. Their need for service is a nuisance that none of them like or want to deal with. The more painless we can make it for them, the better. Stay focused on their needs and, for gosh sakes, make it easy!

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