Proactive Service Recovery: The Revenue Strategy You Can't Ignore

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January 23, 2015

From a Car Disaster to an Amazing Customer Experience

David Wang


Having your car break down is never a cause for celebration. But Becky H. from Oregon says her recent vehicular misadventure could have been much worse had it not been for some customer service superheroes.

“Thanks to three back-to-back positive customer service experiences in the same day, my car breaking down turned out better than I could have dreamed,” she says.

It all started that morning outside her house as she was rushing to work (or so she thought). Her engine wouldn’t turn over. Neighbors tried to give her a jumpstart, but to no avail. So she called roadside assistance provided by Safeco, her auto insurance company.

“Before I could even speak to a real live person some sort of GPS tracking system identified where I was via my cell phone. So when the operator came on all I had to do was read him my policy number and tell him the address of the auto shop.”

“A few minutes later I received a text saying a tow truck would be there within an hour. But just five minutes later, the tow truck driver called to verify my address and said he would be there right away. He was friendly and polite and got my car out of there in a matter of minutes.”

The neighbor with the jumper cables told her to take her car to nearby Hal Jones Automotive, a mechanic he’d been using for decades. Once the car was there, Ron, the owner of the family run shop, stayed in touch with her throughout the day, giving her updates on her car’s problem, which turned out to be electrical in nature. Talk about old-fashioned customer loyalty.

“I liked that he was responsive and didn’t gouge me financially. When I went back a few days later to have something else checked, they even gave me a ride home and did not charge me for the work. The shop and office were clean and well organized and the employees have worked there for years. It’s an old-school family run business that delivers great service and makes you feel good even under bad circumstances.”

Between Safeco’s quick roadside assistance driven by technology like GPS and texting, the fast-responding tow truck driver and the personal, responsive service at Hal’s, Becky felt that she had lucked out in an odd sort of way. She says she’s going to stick with Safeco and she’s planning to take her car back to Hal’s in the future.

Once again, focusing on customer needs with quick, responsive and technologically up-to-date service leads to positive word of mouth that brings in new customers who will also spread the word.

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