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There’s only one thing I like spending money on more than dental work and lawn care, and that’s shelling out a few hundred bucks for auto maintenance. You gotta do it, but it stinks. So it was with great joy that I contacted several local tire shops to price new treads for one of our cars. (Guys, this is like your wife asking you to buy her a lipstick.)

I called a couple of national chains and learned that I had more to learn. What do you mean, what size are the tires? They’re round and bald, that’s all I know. In both cases, the associate who answered the telephone was able to provide prices and check availability for several different sizes and brands.

We like to support locally owned family businesses, so I called the locally owned family tire store. They’ve been around since the horse and buggy days, and pictures of great-great-grandpa line the showroom. A woman answered the phone and I explained what I needed. She asked me to hold for a salesperson, but I was in a hurry and hung up after :57 seconds.

When I called back, I didn’t waste my breath with the greeter and asked for a salesperson immediately. After five (5) – FIVE! – minutes on hold, someone answered and I stated my case.  I remembered that they had serviced the car in the past and asked if he could look it up and see what kind of tires we needed.

“I can only look things up by service date,” he explained.

Seriously? Are you kidding me? I know my name, my address, my phone number, my license plate, the make and model of my car. I barely remember what I ate for breakfast, and you want me to remember the date of my last oil change?

Do you make it hard for Ms. Jones to get what she needs? Are their roadblocks in your organization that make her detour to your competition? Do your systems cooperate, or do they complicate?

Do you have a Sales Prevention Department?

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