Friday, November 5, 2010

Gettin'em Back

Is it me or are car dealerships are always good for a nice teaching point?

Some people already hate to go there to buy a new car. Then bringing the car back for service is worse. I'm feel the same.

I recently stopped taking my car back to the dealer because I was unhappy. Not with the work, the labor was fine. The customer service is what drove me away.

Thus, as a result of not dealing with customers well, they lost one. However, a good marketer knows that fixing mistakes is incredibly powerful and has tremendous value. If done correctly, it positively shifts a negative brand perception. Its a surprise and the customer also leaves with a nice story to tell.

So, when the dealership called on Friday, I was eager to listen.

Unfortunately, the damage was only compounded. They left an automated and poorly worded voicemail message. The representative quickly read through his lines: "we noticed that you missed many of your recommended scheduled maintenance appointments. Our experience has shown that..."

That what? A car needs regular maintenance: thanks.

Perhaps what their experience should show is that this dealership has such large masses of unhappy former customers that reaching all of them requires an automated message.

Most can see the folly in this thinking. In order to reach a large group efficiently, they must select a weak and inefficient tactic. In the long run, personally calling the smaller x number of customers per day would prove to be more efficient in winning back business.

Then the representative could find out what was wrong with the service, if anything. They could apologize, ask for forgiveness and start the process to improving the relationship with that customer. Not even the best script could do that.

There's a direct relationship in correcting mistakes. While the opportunity to send a positive message is elevated, so is the work necessary to do so.

No comments: