Why Systems Matter – Customer Service


Last week I traveled all the way from warm and laid back California to the cold, cold Northeast to spend a day with my mentor and coach Fabienne Fredrickson and visit some friends. In the course of the week I was blown away by the customer service at one business in particular.

But first, who cares? It’s not like this company is paying me to promote them and I certainly don’t have an affiliate relationship with the company. I’ve shared here before about why great customer service matters and even gave you my model for customer service that can be implemented in a mature business.

It doesn’t matter if you have a business and are the only employee, if you’re a million dollar company or even a multi-national corporation with locations in every major city. Customer Service is a critical system that every business needs to be successful.

And great customer service doesn’t happen by accident. It’s measured and researched and designed with you, the customer, in mind.

Last week I decided that I’d be flying in and out of Boston’s Logan airport and driving down to the coaching day with Fabienne via rental car.

The experience I had with Enterprise Rent a Car was phenomenal.

I’m not going to bother trying to deny that I often think four steps ahead in any given situation. It’s what I do.

When I landed in Boston I made my way to the luggage carousel, picked up my bag, and went out to the curb to catch the bus from the terminal to the rental car lot.

As the bus filled up with Enterprise customers my first thought was “be first off this bus so I’m not waiting in line for ten minutes for my car.”

I should not have worried!

When the bus pulled up I grabbed my things and was out the door before most people stood up. At the door there was an employee to help me with my bag, another who handed me a water bottle and a full counter of five agents ready to serve.

Even though I’d thought ahead to make sure I could get in and out of the office quickly, no one else had to wait as each customer was greeted and handled quickly.

(Trust me, if I’d had to wait behind the woman who didn’t own a car and couldn’t remember if she knew how to drive a stick and needed to be shown how to fuel up the car this would be an entirely different article!)

The agent who helped me, Andrew Piantidosi, was friendly and engaging. He shook my hand, asked how my flight was, offered me a map, and reminded me of all the options and offers that did not come standard. He was polite and accepted my “no thank you” without pushing me to upgrade. When we were done with the transaction he walked me out to the lot, carried my bag, and let me choose my car.

Did you catch that? I got to choose (a cute little death trap Fiat)! It was much better than the neon green Honda Fit… and adorable. Yes, it felt like a death trap because it was so tiny but the extra step of walking me out to the lot, showing me the options, and allowing me to make a decision felt luxurious.

And the reason I remember Andrew’s name was that he handed me his card and let me know that if I needed anything, anytime to give him a call. It was sincere and a great touch.

Ironically, the first commercial that came on TV when I settled into my hotel room that night was for Enterprise Rent a Car and I actually paid attention, noting that their customer service promise had been fulfilled in my visit.

The point here is not to rent from Enterprise, although I will again. Nothing that I experienced was an accident, it was researched, designed, measured and executed with precision. I witnessed the other agents shake the customer’s hand, take their bags and yes, explain how to fuel up a motor vehicle.

Knowing that this high level of customer service was standard gave me expectations that at any Enterprise office, with any agent other than Andrew Piantidosi, I would receive the same great experience. And I’ll be a repeat customer.

Don’t you want your clients and customers to say the same thing after they encounter your business? If you want to make an impression that lingers for weeks and months after the interaction then you need solid customer service systems to guarantee that your business is meeting and exceeding expectations.

If you need help discovering what that looks like in your business and how to implement it I’d love to chat in a simple get to know each other call. When you’re ready click here to register for a get acquainted call.

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  • Joyce

    I bought my last car from Enterprise and i also had a great experience with them. They only sell the best from the best (I think it is top 5%) on the lots with their names and it was a delight to work with their staff in Concord, CA.

  • http://www.patrick-conley.com patrick

    Great article Kelly!