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Marketing can be measured in inches not miles

Bigstock-Hand-Pinching-89048759Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group

We talk a lot about going the extra mile for a customer but the truth is -- customers notice the inches even more.

Let me give you a recent example.

I own a Hyundai Santa Fe (which is still under warranty) that I bought from the Hyundai dealership that is now owned by Stew Hansen. I noticed that right after I filled up my gas tank, the gas gauge didn't change (it still said -- you have about a mile to drive before your tank is bone dry -- why do you put this off for so long?).

I was in a hurry so I didn't do anything about it but the next morning, my check engine light was on.  The combo of alerts had me concerned enough that I called the dealership's service center.

A perfectly polite and friendly service tech heard me out and then told me he couldn't get me in for five days.  I said, "so you are saying it's safe for me to drive for five days with this check engine light on?"

His reply was "Oh no, that light could be on for about 500 different reasons.  I can't promise you it's safe to drive."

I asked again, given that fact, if there wasn't anything they could do to get me in earlier.  He put me on hold so he could ask a supervisor and came back with a no.

My next call was to the guys at Iowa Auto in Urbandale, where I have all the rest of my family cars serviced, and I explained my issue.  The guy I talked to said, "we couldn't fit you in today to fix it, but swing by and I will at least hook it up to the computer to make sure it's safe for you to drive. It won't take more than five minutes and then at least we'll know if it's safe or not."

I swung by and 10 minutes later, I knew I was fine to drive. 

Did the Hyundai service guy do anything wrong? Not really. But he also didn't go out of his way to do anything right. He made it clear that he didn't really care if it was safe for me to drive or not. I'm pretty sure he has the same (if not better) computer gizmo that the Iowa Auto guys used to verify my safety.

Did the Iowa Auto folks offer to fix my truck for free? Nope. Did they offer to squeeze me in that day?  Nope. They simply went the extra inch.

And that's all it took to remind me why I have given them so much money over the years. It was another story I can tell about them when I refer people to them and it's why I wouldn't think of taking my vehicles anywhere else.

That's a lot of mileage from a single inch.




Such a great example of the little things that count. I am going to get a new car and talking with several dealers. One salesman sensed I was busy and offered to come get my Lexus so they could do an appraisal for a trade and bring it back within 1 1/2 hours. Made my day. That tells alot about the future of our relationship.

I also have pinned up your article on "May I ask a question?" I will get to it soon and interview some people.

Rob -- time is our most limited commodity. The company that understands that often wins the day.


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