How Patience and Persistence (and a little Profanity) Pay off at Ford Dealer

Real world story:  I lost the keys to my rental car. At first I was angry , then I sprang into action. After calling the rental car company and being informed that my car did not have a spares, I was told to either call a locksmith or have the car towed to a dealer to have new keys made. Did I mention it was Saturday 12:00pm, I was at my mom’s house which is 1.5 hours away from the San Francisco airport where my flight was scheduled to leave at 4:00pm?  I was in a pickle. I called several locksmiths only to find out that they cannot make a key for the type of car I had. Of the four Ford dealerships I called, only one was open and it was in Salinas, CA. I immediately called the service department and the coordinator, Kelly, told me that if I brought the car in by 3:00 they could get the key made before the shop closed at 4:00pm.

I called AAA who arrived in 30 minutes and had the car loaded with my luggage in 10 minutes. Salinas, here we come!

During the ride I called Southwest airlines and changed my flight from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  I called Kelly at the Ford dealer to alert him of my arrival. He said he would let the mechanic know. As soon as we arrived, Kelly was outside waiting for us and kindly guided us to the appropriate garage. Then he immediately got to work with my paperwork. He was determined to get my problem solved. I felt comfortable and confident of Kelly’s ability to solve my problem.

After about 10 minutes, I saw Kelly outside with the mechanic and Kelly looked angry. Although he didn’t mean for me to hear, I heard him use the “F” word. When Kelly entered the store, I asked “Is this about my car?” He looked extremely frustrated and said “We can’t get the key-code. There are only two people who have it: the manager who just had a heart attack, and the owner who is on vacation.” (Apparently, the key code is needed to create the new key.) But, Kelly didn’t give up. He said “This is ridiculous” and headed to the back offices. When he came back, he still didn’t have the codes. Again, Kelly persisted. Time was of the essence because the shop closed at 4:00 and it was 3:50pm. Without that key code I would be stranded at the garage for the rest of the weekend. As a last ditch effort, Kelly called a Ford dealer in a neighboring town. Kelly explained the dilemma and convinced them to give him the code.  Less than 10 minutes later, the key was made and I was driving away with my car.

I was so happy with Kelly and his team. They definitely went above and beyond to solve my problem and he kept his word  – and in my opinion, that means A LOT!!!!!

Strategies that worked:

1.  Kelly was determined to solve my problem. He took ownership of my problem from our first phone call to my driving out of the garage.

2.  Because Kelly was taking care of my problem, I was able to remain calm and positive.

3.  Keeping one’s word and going above and beyond creates loyal customers.

I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts.  Share your best ideas, tips and comments on customer service in the comments below.

2 Responses to “How Patience and Persistence (and a little Profanity) Pay off at Ford Dealer”


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