1. How was Mike’s Express Carwash utilized the Nordstrom method as an approach to customer service and satisfaction?
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The company was able to utilize the Nordstrom method through application of its principles. First of all the company offers customers a variety of choices. There are three different kinds of carwash service being offered. The first package includes a wash, Mike’s Clear Coat and Wheel Bright (Spector, p.4). The second package includes a wash, Mike’s Clear Coat and an underbody wash (Spector, p.4). The third package is called the deluxe package and it includes everything in the second and first package.
The company also makes sure that they had created an inviting place. The facility sits on “on an acre-plus of highly landscaped property” and the well-designed building itself is made immaculately clean, that first time customers thought that they were driving into a restaurant and not a carwash (Spector, p.4). Aside from that the company made a commitment to only hire those who are fit to work in a service-oriented workplace. It is common practice to interview 20 applicants for one job opening.
The company is also committed not only to sell a service, they also sell a relationship and this simply means that they want each customer to keep coming back. They really take care of their customers and if one is not satisfied with the wash they ask the customer to let them repeat the process.
This is done using another Nordstrom principle which is to empower employees to take ownership of the business. Thus, an employee no matter how new or how long he or she has been working there can approach a customer and say that Mike’s Express Carwash is not happy with their performance and would love to wash their car once more.
The employees feel comfortable working there because they believe in disregarding the rules or creating rules that forces them to be stiff rather than to be happy serving the customers. But this does not mean that that employees simply do what they feel, in order to maintain a high work rate the company promotes friendly competition between teams and between branches. Each employee is also rated by customers they label as “mystery shoppers” (Spector, p.5). This means that employees always find the motivation to exceed expectations.
Finally, this company is committed to follow the Nordstrom way because the leaders and the people are 100% committed to customer service. For instance, Mike Dahm reads customer comment cards every time there is an employee meeting (Spector, p.5). The company also makes sure to promote only those who deserve promotion and this ensures that they always have managers that do their job well and a dedicated workforce ready to serve.
2. How are the products that Mike’s Express Carwash provides for its customers classified?
The company does not manufacture and sell a particular product. They sell a specialized service using specialized products. For instance they use soap to clean the body and the underboy but they also use a coating that protects the paint of the car. At this point there is no need to change the kind of service they offered. But they can probably experiment with interior detailing or a new type of service where they would clean the inside of the car while their customer wait in an area where they sell coffee and other kinds of beverages.
3. What features distinguish this particular carwash brand.
As mentioned earlier the facility does not look like a carwash building. It resembled something like a big restaurant because of the handsomely designed architecture. Aside from the building, what was striking to the customers was the kind of clothes that the attendants are wearing.
They have hats on and they are wearing white shirts but on top of that they also have a tie with a cartoon character design. One can also see stuffed toys in many areas of the facility that makes it fun for kids and makes them less intimidated with the sound of the big machines that do the washing.
As a result there is brand loyalty as attested by one happy customer who happened to be a writer and proceeded to make a glowing commentary about this carwash company. If they continue with what they are doing then they will always have loyal customers who will keep coming back. But there is room for improvement.
The company must continually make investments especially when it comes to new technology that can make the process go faster. If it will take say seven minutes to complete one cycle then they must experiment with technology that can do it faster, say under five minutes. This will make the customers extremely happy.
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4. How does Mike’s Express Carwash price and promote its products so that customers will continue to purchase them and they will continue to make a profit?
As mentioned earlier there are three different packages. These three different packages anticipates that customers have different needs. This will make the customers feel that they are getting their money’s worth because they are not being forced to buy somethng that they do not need.
It also allows the customers to choose a service that fits their budget. The basic package costs $6 and the most expensive one costs $12. If they find the high-end service too expensive then they can opt for the cheaper one. There are customers who are only interested in a clean body and does not care much about their tires so they will feel like the service is affordable.
Aside from the different packages offered the company also uses smart promotion to entice first time customers. For instance they have promo that says the first try is free but they get $12 worth of carwash and underbody wash. But on their second try they get the same at half the price.
This is an irresistible offer because the prospective customer can check out the facility and the service without spending anything, and if they like it then they form a relationship with the customer because of the superior service rendered.
5. Why has Mike’s Express Carwash been recognized so many times for providing world class customer service?
The company is serious in providing excellent service and once a customer tries their service they would exclaim that satisfaction is guaranteed at Mike’s Express Carwash. They will do everything to make even an old car looks so good that the owner is pleased with the result.
This is the reason why the customers are so happy because most of them are intent to keep the cars for a long time and if they can find a service that allows them to maintain the beautiful look of their cars then they wold continue to use their service and even provide word-of-mouth advertising for them. I would definitely go back to this carwash.
There are only a few carwash facilities in this nation that offers this kind of service. As a customer you feel good the moment you enter and you feel even better when you come out. This is a good example of how to create a successful company, one that is built on the idea that the customer is boss.
Spector, Robert. Mike’s Carwash’s Approach to Customer Service.