Customer Care Tip – Taking short-cuts/not asking for the sale is bad customer service.

Customer Care Tip – Taking short-cuts/not asking for the sale is bad customer service.

Let me share with you a recent experience of receiving poor customer service. Here are some of the lessons from the situation and my story.

Last Saturday morning my car battery died. It was the original equipment battery that came with the car. Let’s face it, car batteries die. My story is the service or lack of good services I received from a garage that has worked on my vehicles for fifteen years. During those years, I have paid them over $10,000 for both routine maintenance and major repairs for more than a half-dozen cars I have owned.

In the thirty days before my battery died my car had been in their shop three times. The first time it was there my engine had died when I was driving down the highway. It had happened one other time about a week earlier, as well. In both instances, I only turned the key and restarted the car. I asked them to check the fuel and electrical system to see what was happening. They found nothing.

About ten days later I was back to have for my annual state inspection. They inspected the car and sent me on my way.

My third visit was just a week before the battery failed. This time I was in for an oil change. When the car was ready, I noticed they had not washed the windshield and windows like they usually do when I get the oil changed. I also found they had not vacuumed my car. The complimentary cleaning of the interior is one of the services they provide make their higher prices more tolerable.

Here is why I got upset this time. I realized they usually used their battery tester every time I was in for routine service or major repairs. They would always let me know how the battery tested and if it was nearing the end of its life cycle. I had them pull my records. They attach a copy of the battery test to the invoice when they check the battery.  They had not tested my battery my battery my last three visits.

I addressed the lack of testing with the shop foreman and then the owner. They had failed to check my battery. They also had not provided their concierge-class complimentary services.

What I received was the excuse that they had made a conscious decision due to the increased workload to service customers faster by not testing the battery or cleaning the car. They equated better service with handling a higher volume of clients instead of providing their past quality service.

The results of their actions caused me to get stranded for over an hour while I waited for assistance. They also missed out on selling me a battery. If they had tested and then told me the results showed that it would fail soon, I would have bought a new one immediately.

I believe their short-cut contributed to my being stranded with a dead battery. They missed the chance to make a sale. They also missed out on creating goodwill.

Most of all, they are now at risk of losing me and my extended family as well as my friends as customers.

Customer Care Tip – Taking short-cuts/not asking for the sale is bad customer service.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on

Leave a Reply