Elon Musk, serial inventor, owner of Tesla Motors, networth in the region of 12.5Bn Dollars - also known for being part of SpaceX, PayPal and of course being the guy behind the HyperLoop.
In a nutshell, he has his fingers in so many pie's that you'd find it hard to believe he's able to teach small business owners a really important lesson - but he is.
Ok, so he can probably teach all business owners many lessons, but this one lesson is something I think we can all take home and really learn from.
Act Fast On Customer Complaints
It sounds odd and not like a lesson, it's something we all should know and do already but we don't. We're all guilty of not acting fast enough, not answering emails swiftly, returning phone calls when we should or actually changing business policy when we can for the common good.
Today I read how Loic, a customer of Tesla and their superchargers tweeted Elon and challenged him on the use of superchargers as car parks. - Here's how it went down.
Elon promised action in his first tweet back on the 11th.
On the 16th December 2016, Tesla released a policy update - put simply if you car completes it's charge and the station is over 50% full you have 5 minutes to move your car or for each minute you remain you will incur a small fee. I say small, after a few minutes it's a few dollars and do it a few times and the cost would be annoying to most folks, but maybe not if you earn enough to be driving a hugely costly Tesla Motor (just my thoughts!).
So, what is the lesson?
The lesson here is that you need to listen to your customer and act on complaints quickly.
Elon understood the issue fully and acted swiftly with a policy change to ensure that superchargers were more readily available. It may not stop it happening all the team, but as a "pin prick" to the unconscious brain it may do the job.
It took just 5 days (11 to 16) to enact this new policy. 5 days!
Ok the reality is the code was in the cars and the app before this point, had been for months. But Elon hadn't pressed the button, I don't think it was on his radar until someone pointed out it was a real issue. Then he knew he had to act.
I dare say Elon may have done better to have used this policy to force a speed reduction on anyone who over-stayed at charge points rather than a fine. Maybe this would have forced considerate driving and after a while would have been lifted automatically.