Secrets of Exceptional Service With Cristol Duke and Heather Langdon of Gerald's Tires & Brakes

Gain Traction

Feb 28 2024 • 22 mins

Heather Langdon is a Customer Service Representative at Gerald's Tires & Brakes. Heather's journey into the tire business began when she applied for a position at Gerald’s to help her husband buy a motor for his trucking company, soon becoming an integral part of the customer service team. Born and raised in Charleston, Heather brings a deep understanding of her community's needs and values, striving to provide not just customer service, but an exceptional experience for every guest.

Cristol Duke is a Customer Service Representative at Gerald's Tires & Brakes. Having traded the tranquility of cornfields for the vibrant energy of Charleston over two decades ago, Cristol brings warmth and empathy to her role every day. She understands the importance of creating a welcoming atmosphere, especially when customers arrive with concerns or frustrations, and is committed to seeing beyond problems to provide genuine care and support.

In this episode…

Anyone who takes a job doing customer service quickly learns it can be challenging. How can tire and auto repair shops ensure that customers are treated well without draining the enthusiasm of their team members?

At Gerald's Tires & Brakes, customer service isn't just a job — it's a philosophy deeply ingrained in the company's culture. Cristol Duke and Heather Langdon understand the pivotal role they play as the faces of the company, recognizing that customers often arrive with frustrations and concerns, not directed at them personally, but at the situations they face. By putting themselves in the customers' shoes, they aim to smooth over issues and extend a warm welcome to everyone who walks through the door.

On this episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge chats with Cristol and Heather about the art of customer service. They delve into the importance of empathy, highlighting how understanding customers' frustrations can turn negative experiences into positive ones. The conversation also touches on the unique morning ritual of cheering for arriving customers and the team's commitment to going above and beyond with small gestures. They also discuss integrating active listening to enhance the customer experience.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Cristol Duke describes frontline staff as the source of customers’ initial impressions
  • Heather Langdon emphasizes to new hires that guests need to feel valuable and important
  • How distributing roses and providing entertainment for kids can enhance the customer experience
  • Heather discusses her involvement in various aspects of operations at Gerald's, from training to scheduling
  • Cristol says her role extends beyond customer service to include tasks like shop maintenance and coordination
  • How Heather’s “kill them with kindness” philosophy acts as guiding principle for handling difficult situations"
  • The importance of actively listening to customers
  • Why personal connections contribute to job satisfaction and loyalty

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.

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