What Does “Customer Service” Even Mean Any More?
so I was assured they would quickly find me “the exact car you drove today, but in the color you want.” They found one for me, and I would have it “within a few days.”
A week passed by and I had heard nothing back, so I dropped them a line. “Probably next week,” was the response.
Another week passed by and I was not contacted so I checked back in. “It’s looking like the end of next week.” (Do you see a pattern already? And I don’t mean the timing.)
When I didn’t hear back by the next Friday I tried again. I was left a message that “the hurricanes [Irma, et al] had “slowed the process down everywhere.” Okay, at least a rational explanation (though it made me concerned that maybe my vehicle was going to be storm damaged!?)
So I gave it another week– and in the meantime made the first payment to the bank on a car I had yet to lay eyes on.
That week flew by, and as you can guess. I heard nothing. So, I let them have it. Not only to check on the status, but to point out the poor customer service — I should not ever have had to call them. I am the customer that they are trying to please and I should have been kept updated. A half hour later, I got a message that my car was in and would be ready the next day!
Now the part I’ll skim over is how the salesperson later told me he left a message on Thursday, when my phone call log clearly shows he called me on Friday, AFTER I had sent the ranting email, but I let that slide. For now.
I got to the dealership on Saturday morning. My shiny new car parked right out front! I got the keys and someone to run through all the features. I climbed in. And it was not the car (features) I had ordered. In fact, this exact car was on their lot a month ago when I test drove the other one.
Next thing I knew I was driving their car, on their insurance. They’d call me “Monday, to sort things out….”
As you can guess, it was Wednesday before I heard from them. And that call was to say “we need to talk about the numbers…” As in– this is a different car with a higher price tag…. Ooooh no! I was promised a certain car at the price I signed a loan on!
Well, I did get my car– at my price– a few days later. But what blew me away was that I had to contact the dealership every week myself. I got very little response or information about my expensive purchase, and they acted like this was acceptable practice. To top it off they then had the nerve to suggest I fill in all “10’s” on my customer satisfaction survey!
It’s just interesting that the subject of customer service has come up several times this week at work as well. The boss dealing with prospective new IT companies that don’t return phone calls, despite claiming to want our business. We had one in that swore they could help us, despite not having worked for this type of client before. We signed them up, at no small cost, and before too long they had to admit they could not help us. (I guess at least they tried.)
While the marketing business tells how we all need to be customer-centric, it seems the rest of the world has not yet adapted that ideology… or has forgotten. Some may be great marketers, but just what are they selling? Over-promising and under-delivering is never the way to do business.
I found a great article: The 10 Commandments of Great Customer Service
This also may be a good time to review “How to Find a Vendor That Fits With Your Core Values”
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