Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Unexpected Surprises

When you get something unexpected and nice, it tends to get associated with the source. And when that source is a product, service or company, it gets associated with the brand--even if it comes in the process of getting one's oil changed.

This morning I took my car to Michael's Toyota in Bellevue, Wash. for a basic, run-of-the-mill oil change. I actually had two unexpected and pleasant surprises. As I was getting checked in I noticed a punch card for oil changes. The service tech noticed I was looking at it and she went through my records and found three prior oil changes. She went ahead and punched all the prior ones as well as the one I got today. So my next oil change is free!

Then after my service was completed, I was told my SUV was up front. When I walked out I couldn't find it so I pressed my remote entry fob and saw the SUV in front of me flash its lights and chirp. I hadn't seen it because it was clean! We had some snow about a week ago so it was covered in mud when I came in. I knew they washed cars for major service, but not for an oil change. Nice.

That little pleasant surprise stuck with me most of the day and I told several co-workers about it. Both suprises, the free oil change next time and the car wash, made me feel better about taking my car there. I don't remember what brand or quality of oil they used, but that doesn't matter. Don't forget the little things when it comes to making a memorable customer experience!


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