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A colleague of mine had purchased a new vehicle only 12 months before his starter motor decided to pack it in.

Well of course, it would be covered in the 12 month warranty wouldn’t it?

Yep, it would, except the starter motor decided to collapse just 2 days after the warranty had finished.

He decided to try his luck and take it back to the dealer who had sold him the car, fully expecting that he would cop the standard response of “Sorry Sir, it’s out of warranty.”

The dealer was a reputable business entity and here’s what happened:

  • The salesman who sold my colleague the car was no longer at the dealership, but his replacement completely understood the frustration of my friend.

So he offered my pal a coffee whilst he spoke to the principal of the dealership and five minutes

later, gave my friend the good news that they would honour the spirit of the warranty, regardless of the fact that legally they didn’t have to.

  • My colleague was understandably elated and thanked them for their “fair play attitude.”
  • It gets better. Because they needed the vehicle for a couple of days to fix the problem, they provided my colleague with a courtesy car with a full tank.
  • The salesman constantly left my friend voicemails throughout the two days updating him on the status of the vehicle repairs.
  • When my friend picked up his vehicle a couple of days later, it had been washed, polished and the interior vacuumed.

My colleague’s reaction was “Wow I cannot believe this!”

  • When my friend decides to purchase a new car, probably sometime in the next year or two, where do you think he might go?

And aside from that, he must have told 50 different people already about his extraordinary customer service over-delivery.

  • When he picked up his vehicle after the repairs, the principal of the dealership asked if they had exceeded his expectations.

His reply was of course “Yes,” to which the dealership principal responded, “Well, we have successfully done our job then.”

I must confess the only cardinal sin that was committed by the vehicle dealership was that they didn’t capture a video testimonial from my friend at this moment of gratification.

Imagine how powerful a video testimonial would have been on their website, when they had just knocked the socks off a customer by delivering the unexpected.

This dealership had certainly gone the extra mile to create an extremely happy client, but unfortunately had not fully exploited the opportunity by being able to theatrically communicate that wonderful gesture to a wider audience.

And whilst the cheapest form of advertising is a satisfied customer, don’t rely on that client telling all of his/her family and friends about the experience.

Rather, capture on video his/her elation at the time of the nice surprise, so you can then feature that on your website and other marketing collateral that reaches a larger audience of prospects.