How important is RELIABILITY when it comes to customer satisfaction?  Very important!  Customers expect you to deliver what you promise.

Here are some promises companies commonly offer:

Quick Service … it better be quick.

Best Prices in Town … prices better be negotiable if it is cheaper somewhere else.

In my last two blog posts I have been sharing my car-buying experience and my interactions with Andrei, the salesperson.  You learned how he how he balanced the procedure part of customer service with the personal part and provided Assurance (competence, confidence, and trust).  Now, let me explain how he provided RELIABILITY.


During the paperwork part of the process we realized we had a misunderstanding regarding the trade-in value of my old vehicle.  (I’ll share more on this in a few weeks when I talk about Winning the Customer Back.)  For the inconvenience they offered to fill my gas tank and run my car wash through their fancy wash process.  All I had to do was bring it by the dealership when I needed my first tank of fuel.  Fast forward several days and I stopped in to collect on their promise.  They delivered!  Andrei was happy to see me, brought me to the customer lounge, took my keys, and off he went with my car.  About 30 minutes later I had a shiny, clean car with a full tank.  Thanks Andrei!

My challenge for you is to evaluate the level of RELIABILITY you provide to your customers.  This requires you to actively manage the customer’s perception of what is “promised.”  For example, if you go to a sit-down restaurant mid-afternoon you likely expect to be greeted and seated within a minute or so of arriving.  Let’s say the restaurant had an unexpected busload of customers arrive five minutes before you.  Chances are the wait would be a bit longer than normal.  Your customer expectation of RELIABILITY can easily be managed with a short explanation and an estimated wait time. Make sense?

I’ll be back next week to share what it means for a customer to expect EMPATHY.