Win Your Customers


Recently I had a terrible experience with my car dealership.  I won’t go into the details, but here is a short synopsis.  I bought a warrantee from the dealership and was told this would extend my “new car warrantee.”  When my car needed a part replaced they put on a rebuilt part.  They had suggested a new part, but said it would cost me the difference between the new and used part, which was almost two thousand dollars, even though I had bought the warrantee from them.  At one point their top guy admitted that unless they sold the more expensive part, they wouldn’t make any money.  All I wanted was my car fixed.  I really didn’t care if the part was new or remanufactured.  They had created unnecessary conflict and stress with a good customer (me).

I sent them a letter stating my dissatisfaction with the process.  I expected some type of response.  Hopefully it would be one that made me feel that they were sorry, valued my business and wanted to keep me as a customer.

I received a letter from the salesman.  While it did say all of the above, it also emphasized that I was wrong and they were right.  I guess they won the battle, but will lose the war.  The score is now…  Car Dealership “1” – Shep “0”!  (By the way, that score will remain until it is time for me to buy a new car.  Then it will be… Car Dealership “ZILCH” – Shep “10”!)

Here is the lesson.  It isn’t about winning an argument or dispute.  It is about winning the customer.  I wasn’t totally satisfied with what happened regarding the repair to my car.  But, I was willing to give them another shot as long as they acted like they deserved it.  The ONLY thing a business should worry about winning is the customer!

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email:  Web: For information on customer service training, go to  


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