Service Matters Part 1: How I chose my car

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Ever bought the same car twice? Plenty of people do it.  Why repeat yourself? Isn’t variety the “spice of life”?  That sentiment might ring true when it comes to salad dressing, but cars, homes, and especially your business are not things you ought to experiment with.  You drive that thing because it never lets you down – you get a new one every few years.  The folks at the dealership come to know you and they take care of all your issues without question.  Why do they do it?  Because every good organization rewards and respects loyalty.  And they secure that loyalty by providing good value.

I recently came to the end of a 3 year lease and I had to decide what car to go with next. I decided a few years ago that I will only lease a vehicle; to make sure I’m always driving a car under warranty.  I love that peace of mind.  As a kid, I knew every single car on the road – every stat – I read all the car magazines.  For my first few car purchases I made long drawn out decisions.  But as time went on, car details became less important.  Make no mistake … I’ve always liked having something cool, but I tended to be quick and “scientific” about it. Examine the reviews, take a test drive, sign the paper and move on.

But this most recent car really got my blood flowing again.  It stirred up my old passions and I can honestly say it’s been my favorite car – ever.  It’s not the hottest or fastest one around, but I adore it.  Naturally, I wanted another one! The crappy thing is that the newer model with the same cool engine cost WAY more now. Out of my budget.  So now I had to shop around for something else. Ugh.

With so many car enthusiasts on the ITW team, there was no shortage of advice about the fastest, newest, hottest thing. I was back to where I was 10 years ago; longing for performance, scouring dealerships for a vehicle that was just like my last one and lost with indecision and getting great recommendations from lots of smart people.  Kinda like you when you get inundated every day by vendors vying for your attention and your IT dollars.  They are smart, they know their stuff, they all offer something compelling.  How do you choose?

Then it dawned on me, part of what I love about that car was the dealership’s service and support.  These guys drove a loaner to my office 40 KMs away when some maintenance took longer than expected. These folks called me regularly to make sure everything was running smooth.   Maybe I couldn’t get the same car in my budget, but I could get something close when it comes to engine performance and fun, but guarantee myself that same level of awesome service.  I trust them.

That’s why I am sticking with my dealership.  I love the service.  I am a service-oriented person – for me, things are all about “the experience”.  When I travel, when I go out to eat.  I like doing business with nice, smart people who are sensitive to my needs.  Be clear, I am not talking about luxury goods and expensive restaurants.  I can’t stand pretense, I hate wearing ties, and my favourite place to eat is a small diner down the road from my house.  It’s about value and integrity.

That’s what IT Weapons is all about.  Every time Jay and I talk to someone about our business or we interview a new Wep, he articulates our philosophy the same simple way “Do a good job and the client will call you back.”  When a service company is excellent, you stick with it.  That’s the talk I talk … and staying with my dealership is the walk I walk.

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