Spread the Word – You’ll Get Exceptional Customer Service at Road Ranger!

On a recent shopping excursion with my friend Mary she told me about a phenomenal service experience she recently had while on a trip with her mother. They had stopped at McDonald’s and Mary, who prefers Coke products, found that Coke was temporarily unavailable. So, she decided to walk across the parking lot to a nearby gas station – Road Ranger.

She got her Diet Coke and then found that there were long lines at the counter so¬†she took her place at the end of one of the lines. A woman behind the counter caught her eye and asked: “Are you just buying the soda?” “Yes,” she answered. “Go ahead, there’s no need to pay,” the woman said. Surprised, and not sure she understood, Mary said, “Oh no, I need to pay for this.” But, the woman again said: “No, no need to pay. Go ahead.”

Wow! Great customer service experience for Mary – great PR move for Road Ranger. Think about it. Road Ranger sells 32 ounce fountain drinks for .69. That’s the lost revenue this employee realized from her magnanimous gesture of goodwill. And what do you think she gained in the way of positive public relations for Road Ranger?

McKinsey research suggests that word of mouth (WOM) marketing is behind 20-50% of all consumer purchasing decisions. Other studies suggest the same. In this case, Mary has not only shared her experience with others but says she will now *always* choose Road Ranger over other options when there is one available. I was so impressed with the story that I’m sharing it through my blog and so it goes, exponentially, representing far, far more value than the .69 in revenue that this employee decided was less important than providing an exceptional service experience for a customer.

A lot of organizations spend a lot of money on advertising to raise awareness and preference for their products and services. Advertising certainly has its place. But, as this example illustrates, it is often the simple “random acts of service” that can have the most impact on an organization’s reputation. Try it yourself.

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