FranklinCovey Consultant Blogs | Todd Wangsgard | Waiting Room
This is Grain Valley Muffler in Grain Valley, Missouri. I will always have my cars inspected and repaired here. I tell everyone about their service, speed, and amazing value. No. I boast about them!
My first visit to this shop 4 years ago was right after another service station told me they couldn’t pass my car’s inspection until I had an exhaust leak repaired. Fully expecting to hear the Grain Valley repairman tell me that I would need to replace my muffler, pipe, and perhaps a number of other items, I braced for the worst.
About 15 minutes had passed, when an attendant reappeared in the waiting room. “You’re good to go!” he said.
”What do you mean?” I replied, insinuating I hadn’t authorized any services to be performed.
”Oh, there was just a small leak in the line, so I simply spot welded it shut. You’re good to go!”
That’s all fine and dandy, I thought. But how much was this unauthorized service going to set me back? “How much do I owe you?” I implored.
”Don’t worry about it,” he said, “It was too small to bother with any charges. You’re good to go!”
I had to double-check the date in my FranklinCovey planner to confirm it didn’t say the year 1953. Does this kind of thing happen anymore?
That was just the beginning of a string of similar gratis services. Oh sure, I’ve had more extensive repairs along the way that have cost me the price of parts and labor. But I NEVER question whether what they are doing or charging is fair. Can you say the same thing about your repair shop? Your accountant? Your cell phone carrier? Your airline? Your local government?
I estimate that occasional repairs on my high-miles vehicles have totaled around $1000 per year. That’s where loyalty IS the bottom line. They don’t advertise, they’re even out of my way, and their shop isn’t going to win any Popular Mechanics awards for aesthetics. But I know I can always trust them.
For your organization, what is your customers’ loyalty worth each year. Is the level of trust customers have in your brand building loyalty or eroding the relationship? For you personally, what is your employer’s loyalty worth to you each year? Add up your salary, benefits, time off, and bonuses. Are you continuously building more trust in your personal “brand” or are you gradually losing relevance in your field?
Fortunately there are very specific things each of us can do to build trust in our brands – 13 Behaviors, to be exact. If you want to study this challenge further, grab a copy of Stephen M. R. Covey’s best-selling book, “The Speed of Trust.” It’s all in there!