By Casey Grey
If you follow my Instagram stories, you have seen that I've been having issues with my 1977 VW Van.
Three times now, my mechanic has called me and said the van was ready to go and three times I have picked it up and ran into issues.
The first time I died in my neighbourhood before heading out of town (thankfully).
The second time I died in the middle lane of the 417 during rush hour (good advertising for The Conscious Builder since the logos are on the van...).
The third time, yesterday, I died at a red light but got it going again and was able to get it back to the shop.
Is it frustrating?
Am I upset with my mechanic?
I knew what I was signing up for when I purchased the 43 year old vehicle.
Being a business owner myself, I also know what it's like to be the business owner on the other side of situations like this. My mechanic is likely more upset and frustrated than I am. If I were to get upset and frustrated at him, it would only make the situation worse.
In keeping my cool and being empathetic, he is returning the favour and is happy to go the extra mile.
When I rolled up yesterday with the issues, he dropped everything and worked on the van for an hour and a half to get me going so I could get to the Manotick Car Show. He found a couple more issues so he knew I would be bringing it back after but he did what he could in the short time frame.
I should also add that he did not charge me for the previous visit and parts required.
We often talk about the importance of being great business owners and delivering unbelievable service and value but we downplay the importance of being a great customer.
If you deal with a business who gives you shitty service, being a great customer will not get you better service.
On the flip side, if you deal with a business who delivers great service, they will deliver unbelievable service to the great customers.
They see the value in the relationship as oppose to the transaction.
Never underestimate the power of being a great customer. You may just get more than what you're asking for.
(FYI, my mechanic is Ron Cashman. I would link his website but he's oldschool and does not have a website. Shoot me a message if you need a good VW mechanic.)