Categorized | Business

Become a Michelin Man

By Tom Irmen

I was disappointed to learn that the Michelin tires I had planned on purchasing for our family car were out-of-stock. Equally as disappointing was the discovery that the special pricing offered by the dealer would expire before the tires would be back in stock again.

On the outside chance that Michelin might be able to help me out of my dilemma, I called the Michelin Man. They confirmed that the preferred tire I was in search of was indeed out-of-stock and concurred that the special dealer pricing would expire before the tires could be made available.

But it gets better.

The Michelin Man created a file for me, requesting that I install these same Michelin tires when they became available and that they would refund the difference between the current sales price and the price I would pay when the tires are installed. Now that’s customer service! It’s no wonder that Consumer Reports rates Michelin number one.

In last month’s entrepreneur article, I said that I had no definite answer as to what the economy would do in the future. A month later, I still can’t offer you an opinion. One thing is for certain, Michelin will survive and likely thrive in the future regardless of what the economy throws at them.

What does surprise me, however, is the number of companies that continue to exhibit low levels of customer excellence despite the examples of successful companies such as Michelin. With the difference between good and poor customer service, no more than a commitment on the part of management, why would any company elect to provide poor service levels in today’s economic environment, or at any other time for that matter?

Regardless of which direction the economy takes, companies with a dismal customer service will ultimately fail over time. A softening economy will only expedite their demise. And with so many companies choosing mediocrity, doesn’t it make good sense to thoroughly review your company’s customer service levels to ensure that you’re tops in your industry?

A high level of customer service in your small company will not only assure your survival, it can help to catapult you to the number one position among your competitors. Select the road less traveled and become a Michelin Man.

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