NETWORK NATIONAL CONVENTION: Sires Addresses 'Knockout Customer Service'

By Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips
In scenes reminiscent of a TV game show, Mike Sires made two phone calls to unwitting parts professionals — only the calls were made and broadcast in front of about 150 people to see how well the counterpros did their jobs.

The result? They were better than most out there, Sires said.

Sires, president of Profit Partners Inc., spoke about “Knockout Customer Service” during an address to attendees of the Automotive Distribution Network's National Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

“The bottom line is the dollar is shrinking” in terms of buying power, Sires said. “What it means is the buying public will get choosier and choosier about how they spend their money. We’ve got to move our game way up.”

Sires believes business owners must have a buy-in by all employees to be successful. “Can you give knockout customer service alone? No!” The two biggest reasons customers leave a business is they have a negative experience with a staff person and they’re not treating as a valued customer, Sires said. “That’s why people don’t come back.”

To illustrate his point, he recalled walking into a parts store before giving an address on customer service. The counter person was firmly planted on the stool behind the counter. A woman with a cast on her arm came in and needed two containers of anti-freeze.

Not only did the counter person merely point to where the anti-freeze was stocked without getting up, he didn’t offer to take the product to the woman’s car for her. There was no one else in the store.

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