Good ol’ Fashioned Customer Service

Posted on: 05/28/09 12:13 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Today I had an experience that was rare… good ol’ fashioned customer service.

It started with a burnt out brake light. My son just turned 16 (aye aye aye!!!), and he takes his drivers’ license test tomorrow. (did I mention… aye aye aye!!!) The first thing the DMV guy is gonna do is check the car to make sure it’s in proper working condition, including all signals, brake lights, etc. Our right brake is out… so I needed to fix it before my son’s test tomorrow.

Lori (my sweet bride) has been kindly reminding me all week to fix that. Today (24 hours before the test) I decided to try to be a man, open the trunk and figure out how to replace this simple tail light.

Aye aye aye!!!

What happened to simple old tail lights that can be removed with a screwdriver? I needed a Phd to take this thing apart! So I opted to take it to a trusted mechanic around the corner from my house. The place is called “Scotty’s” and they have taken care of my cars for years. Lately they haven’t seen much of me because we have newer Nissans… and those cars just don’t break down! But I rolled in there and asked if they could replace the light for me.

20 minutes later they were done and they told me, “you’re all set!” and handed me my keys.

I asked, “How much do I owe you.”


“Come on,” I argued. “Let me at least pay for the bulb.”

“Just bring it back in when you need something done.”

I wish businesses would learn from this model. Of COURSE I’m going to bring my car back there. That’s actually why I brought it to them in the first place. They’re not only honest and reliable… they know how to “hook a brotha up” every once in a while.

When we started offering my books for sale on our web page, a friend with a keen business mind gave me a piece of advice. He said, “if you every have someone complain that their book didn’t arrive or was damaged… don’t argue. Don’t worry about specifics. Just ship a new one immediately no questions ask.” He said, “You’ll make a lifetime customer.”

I’ve followed his advice. It happens only a couple times a year- so it costs us very little. If someone orders a book and, a few weeks later, emails me with a problem, we immediately send them a new package Priority Mail. I always just tell them, “If the other book ever shows up, just give it to someone who needs it. Sorry for the trouble.” This always makes them happy… and hopefully I’ve made a friend.

Customer Service 101.


It was nice to be on the receiving end of it today.

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3 Replies to “Good ol’ Fashioned Customer Service”

  1. I was one that you sent a replacement book to when the one you sent didn’t show up. You are right, I have bought all but one of your other books since then! Thanks for having great customer service.

  2. well, I have a different report regarding the Adams County Clerks office here in Denver. We’ve only lived here about a year and so I figured it’s overdue time to get new plates. Right? So I get there when the doors opn at 7AM sharp. Grab a number…I am number 7. By 7:15 and LOADS of ppl filing in, it is my turn! Yay! But then the nice lady tells me that I have to have an overview done of my vehicle….a service that is not available ’til 8AM. Grrr! Okay, after an angry mexican glare, I said, FINE….grabbed another number every 5 minutes or so, to try to get called AT 8:00….by 8:45 my number is called…. , by the same lady. I get to the desk, and remind her that it is now well into the 8:0clock hour. She nods, thumbs through paperwork, gets up to go out and do the “overview inspection”…comes back in exactly 1 min and 12 seconds….sits down and completes all the forms in no less than 4 minutes. I stared at her. Then I quipped…”are you serious?” Is this what I waited around for nearly an hour more for??? I explained how horrible the customer service was due to that ridiculous policy…then I handed out all my (not yet called) tickets to ppl sitting in the overcrowded area…so that SOMEONE might get in a bit quicker!!! That created just enough confusion for me to walk out with a half grin. GAWWWW!

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