The Keys To Scrupulous Customer Service

A scrupulous person is one who pays extreme attention to detail. When I was in high school, I was taught the word scrupulous came from the Latin word scrupulus, a small rough stone or pebble. When we have a pebble stuck in our shoe, it’s difficult not to pay attention to it. We become fixated on that small detail.

Unfortunately, scrupulous customer service, service where every detail is attended to, is a rarity. Many companies attempt to be scrupulous about their service but too often a tiny detail is missed. Then it’s the customer who becomes scrupulous – bothered by a minor detail overlooked by the company.

The company I use when I rent a car provides terrific service. Yet one thing they do (as do most of their competitors) is hand you a set of keys like those pictured below. You will note that three keys, two door lock remotes and a key chain complete with a veiled warning don’t easily fit into a pocket. So if you don’t have a purse or briefcase or backpack, what do you do with them? Essentially you’re forced to carry them or stash them somewhere. Not easy to do if you’re a tourist. Not easy to do even if you’re not a tourist.

The reservation process I went through to reserve a car this weekend, the clerk I dealt with at the airport kiosk, the options available at time of rental, the model and condition of the car – all were impeccable. Couldn’t ask for anything better. But those keys….

They bothered me so much I went back to the airport kiosk and asked the clerk “Why?” Why so many keys? Well, it has to do with keeping everything that belongs to a particular car with that car. Often a rental car is used to travel to a different location and then left at that location. If one set of keys were left at the starting destination, the two sets of keys that belonged to that car would be separated and, at some point in time, would need to be rejoined.

So the pile of keys the customer gets is for the convenience of the company, not the customer. Bottom line: poor customer service. The keys used to drive the car end up driving you crazy.

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