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Crap Happens

If treated with the appropriate response and a high level of customer service, a mistake can be a plus. I know that sounds backwards, but hear me out.


Hasta la vista 2020 and hello 2021! Man, that felt good to type. Hopefully, this year proves to be better than the last. No matter what 2021 has in store, I know all of you will keep chugging along doing what you do best – building awesome engines. Even simple mistakes can’t slow you down. 

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In fact, if treated with the appropriate response and a high level of customer service, a mistake can be a plus. I know that sounds backwards, but hear me out.

Steve Morris of Steve Morris Engines has been a friend of the magazine for a few years now and does a great job conveying technical information through interviews and during his Steve Tech videos, and he obviously builds some impressive engines. But, even guys with Steve’s engine prowess can make a mistake from time to time. It’s what you do after that mistake that makes the difference. I’ll let Steve tell the story, which he shared on his social media earlier this month: 


“Jim had us build a complete engine. He picked it up a few weeks ago after I dynoed it. He called me Saturday (1/2/21) and said five rocker arm adjuster nuts came off and were sitting there on the head. He sent me a picture of it. 

“I apologized for not checking the rockers, even though it is a hydraulic roller. I missed it! I asked how I could make it right with him. He said, “Could you send someone down to check it out and make sure it is all good before I put it in the car?” I said I will be there tomorrow and do it myself. Kyle and I drove seven hours on Sunday to do 20 minutes of work to make it right for Jim. 


“General life tip #1, when there is a problem that wasn’t your fault, don’t be a dick. Jim was very good about it. General life tip #2, when the problem is YOURS take care of it. This is the model I stick to! Sometimes things happen. As long as people are kind and reasonable there are no problems. Once people get unreasonable, they have done nothing but hurt themselves.”

I decided to share this story because it’s a perfect example of how people should treat customers and run a reputable shop. I know a vast majority of shop owners feel this same way and act accordingly. However, one rotten apple spoils the whole bunch, as the saying goes. It only takes one person to mess it up for the rest, and unfortunately, there are shops out there that don’t own up to mistakes or corners cut, etc. It’s the shop owners who hold themselves to the standards that Steve Morris does who make this industry great. They show why customer service is imperative to future success.


I mentioned earlier that a mistake can be beneficial if treated properly. Steve shared this story with his social media followers and got nearly 3,000 likes and nearly 200 comments on Facebook, supporting the way he handled the mistake he made. He got another 1,200 likes and 45 comments on Instagram too. Not only did he do the right thing by Jim and his own engine business, but because he was open and honest and shared the story, he got an outpouring of support, kudos and other Steve Morris Engines’ customers to chime in. 

That’s the power of good customer service and sharing what’s going on in your business on social media. I have no doubt this results in more business for Steve Morris Engines and rightfully so. 


On that note, here’s to hoping 2021 has more good news like this story, and more engines! Enjoy our LS issue.  EB

Engine Builder Magazine