Over the past few weeks I’ve had three flat tires. Yep, you read that right. Up until this point, I can probably count the number of flat tires I’ve had over 20 years on one hand. Why so much bad luck? I can think of only one reason: there have been a lot of roofing contractors working in our neighborhood recently and I don’t think my flat tires are a coincidence.
My last experience was particularly exciting. I was pulling out of store parking lot in Boulder and just as I turned onto the road, my low tire pressure indicator started chiming and I could see the pressure of my right front tire going down fast – it was going to be flat in a matter of seconds. I was in business clothes, there was slushy snow on the street and I really didn’t want to change a tire in those conditions. Luckily just as the tire went completely flat I spotted a Big O Tires store right next to me on a street corner. I limped into their parking lot and within about 45 minutes I was on my way again. The best part was that they took care of fixing the flat for free. How I love Big O Tires.
So what does my experience have to do with business? Big O Tires has earned my trust, respect and loyalty—not only for flat tires but other auto maintenance and repairs as well. Their courteous service and willingness to do something for a customer without the promise of any immediate payback really has impressed me.
As we think about the workplace, we can ask ourselves: how do we respond when someone needs our help? Do we prioritize our responsiveness based on someone’s title and what they can do for us? Or are we a little less calculating and willing to help even when the requesting party might not be able to do anything immediately for us? Perhaps we can take a cue from Big O Tires and provide help, even if it’s a bit of an inconvenience. We might not get an immediate return, but our willingness to chip in will probably enhance our reputation and have a lasting impression on others. Who knows, we just might create a ripple effect and spur similar behaviors all over the place. How fun would it be to work in an environment where everyone is genuinely looking for ways to be helpful, not just to the external customer but also to fellow coworkers?