Things I Value:
My husband offered to have me leave my car at home for him to do an oil change (although very kind, that’s not the part I value). Since he’s been building a farm table in his shop at home, he wouldn’t be needing his work truck and I could take it into town to see my patients.
Nothing against the smell that has lingered for the last ten years of the previous owner’s armpits, but when the oil change boutique gives my car an oil change, I get a break from work. I get to sit in a recliner chair and have coffee. Recline. Relax. Put my feet up. Enjoy me time. Relax. Chill. Relax. Write (this) and chat with my dad and my brother at the front desk.
Well, I don’t even really know the guys at the front desk since I just met them three times ago when they performed an emergency alternator replacement and they aren’t my dad and brother because my dad’s in Germany and I don’t have a brother, but they may as well be because they make each person that walks in the door feel like family.
And all this family and relaxing happens right here at our local oil change boutique. With me in a leather recliner chair. Not kidding, you read that right, a recliner chair.
Yes, I have to pay for the oil change where my husband could have done it for the cost of supplies, but then I’d miss the whole recliner, relax, write, coffee, put my feet up, chat with the guys experience.
And that there is better than a pedicure. For me, time where I am forced to put my feet up and lie back in a recliner chair really is a better investment than a pedicure and one of the best $68 cups of coffee I’ve ever had. It’s not that the coffee was delicious, it’s that the experience was.
I’m not good at spending money on myself. I tried that a couple weeks ago when I actually did get a pedicure and it didn’t end well (story about that in a future addition), but this feels different.
I am spending money on my car. Therefore the recline, relax, write, drink coffee, put my feet up, chat with the guys experience benefits my car which transports me to work and my boys to soccer practice and our family to soccer games.
I love it because I’m not really spending $68 on myself. I’m just reaping the side effects. But considering a pedicure, they could upgrade the oil change boutique one step further by adding foot massages. Just a thought.
Now for the reality check: it’s not always sweet peas and roses when I go into the oil change boutique. There are only two recliner chairs and they don’t take reservations. Last time, an elderly lady and an old man in a neck brace were occupying the recliners and it would not have done to haul one of them out to appease my desire for a recliner chair.
I did not outwardly complain as I downgraded to one of the standard lobby style waiting room chairs but did place mental wagers on whose car would be ejected first from the garage so I could assume the position. If it had been anyone other than my elders, I would have volunteered to arm wrestle for their early departure. Even though I don’t milk a herd of goats anymore, I can still beat granny at an arm wrestling match.
Bring it on Sister.
Oh my gosh.
All this over a stupid recliner chair.
Marketing/Customer Experience: If you need any ideas for how to win customers at your oil change location (if I’m your customer), step up your coffee area to include a keurig, cream, sugar, nice disposable coffee cups (i.e. not white styrofoam), granola bars, tea and a couple recliner chairs (or more if you don’t want granny getting kicked to the curb by a sweet 40-something with recliner rage).
You might say, “We’re good, we already do that. We have a coffee pot with some cream and sugar packets over on that table in the corner. Help yourself.”
But dare I say that your coffee pot, when empty, has a brown film all over the inside and when it’s half full, it’s the afternoon and the coffee’s from this morning? Sure, I’m being nitpicky, but if you give your women customers (ok, me) a little more of a spa experience, they (ok, me) will show up in droves for oil changes at your shop!!
In conclusion: It was the thought of losing my time in the recliner chair sipping from my cup of hazelnut fresh brewed keurig coffee that gave me the guts to deny my husband the experience of back slithering under my car to emerge with oily hands and another week’s worth of back pain.
P.S. I don’t get paid for talking about the oil change boutique. I just really like going there and when you get good service it’s the right thing to do. My dad (the real one) owned his own business for years. He always told me if your customer gets good service, they might tell one person. If they get bad service, they’ll tell twelve! I decided to flip that on its head. I got good service and, with your help (please share this on your social media), I’m telling hundreds!
P.P.S. If YOU go into the boutique to have an oil change, let the guys at the front counter know their daughter/sister Lindsey sent you. They’ll have no idea what you’re talking about.
P.P.S. I forgot to tell you that front counter dad, while I was kicked back with my coffee, walked toward me, ripped open a giant box of granola bars and said, “Linds, you want a granola bar?” Only my family calls me Linds. And my college BFF’s. I tell you, front counter dad treats you like family.