It’s not what you say, it’s what you do: 5-Star customer service in action


We’ve all heard the old saying, “It’s not what you say but what you do that sets you apart”, yet so many of us “tell” rather than “show” our clients what we can, or will, do.

Today I was reminded of what customer service really is.

Not just words and vacuous mission statements saying “our customers are more important to us than anything else”. You know the sort of thing I mean. What I experienced was the type of commitment to customers that is demonstrated first hand, on the ground. The type of customer service that most companies no longer deliver.

I’ve just moved to a new part of the city and am in the process of establishing a new suite of service providers to meet my every need. Local pub has been tested and passed with flying colours. Massage therapy has been sourced. Supermarket chosen. IT support locked in. Today was car service today, so I booked into my closest approved provider, Muirs Holden at Ashfield in Sydney’s inner west.

I’d done my research – I knew I could drop the car and then walk about 20 minutes to the nearest train station for the car-less hop home. So, I put on my best track pants and walking shoes, picked up a coffee from my new local and set off, delivering the car at the appointed time.

Now, I don’t have a flash, expensive, imported car that gets you service because of what you can afford to pay or how important you must be to own it. I’m just your average busy woman with a ‘run-of-mill’, medium-priced, locally made car. Nothing special.

So what happened next blew me away!

I was met at the service desk by Frank, a cheerful, smiling gentleman, suitably attired in the company’s corporate gear. Nice. A great start.

For some reason my details hadn’t completed in their system, which meant we needed to do all that. This could have been the beginning of a downhill slide. You know that feeling when you’ve put all the info in the online booking form, thinking you can just drop and go, only to find out you have to do it all again? Usually facilitated by someone who shows their irritation at having to do the extra work and then finds some way to blame you for the stuff-up.

Not Frank. He apologised for what appeared to be a failing in their system. Took full responsibility. One star earned. He then respectfully asked me for all my details so he could set up my customer file, apologising again midway through, at exactly the right moment when he knew my frustration level may be rising. Two stars.

He then walked me through what they’ll be doing with the car, what it will cost and gave a commitment to call me if they find anything else that needs to be done. He assured me that no additional work would be done unless approved by me. Three stars.

Upon completion of the necessaries, he asked me how I planned to get to where I needed to be. I said I was walking to the station to pick up the train. “It’s a bit of a walk. Tony would be happy to drive you to the station if you’d like to save the time”. Four stars. Of course, Tony drove me in the latest model of the car one level up from the one I own. Smart move.

But then the big finish kicked in! Just as I was about to board the train, I realised my house keys were still on the car key ring and I wouldn’t be able to get in. (I haven’t got around to finding a hiding place for a spare key yet). I called Frank to ask him to take the keys off and leave them at the desk for me to come back and collect. “No, don’t worry about coming back Bernadette. Stay where you are. Tony will drive them down to you now”. And he did. FIVE STARS!!!!

Holden have just locked me in for my next car. And the good people at Muir’s Ashfield are likely to get the business. Well done Frank and Tony! And congratulations Muir’s for employing them.

Now, let’s see if the Printer repair guy arriving in half an hour can meet my new benchmark for service!

Footnote: On the back of my experience and since writing this blog, my partner bought a new car from you know where 😊.  Well done Muirs!