Friday, June 13, 2014

Why I Will Go Back To My Dealer!

In past blogs we have discussed how the dealer ‘got it wrong’; this story is about how my dealer, and especially my Service Advisor, got it right.

First, a little background: From our 2014 Consumer Sentiment Survey we know that, aside from cost, the most important thing to the customer is their time. Customers want a convenient appointment and they want their car ready when it’s promised. Dealers are getting better at this, but what follows is an example of how to keep a customer happy even when something unexpected happens.

In need of an oil change, I made an appointment with my dealer for Saturday morning at 8:15 a.m. Perfect, I thought – first appointment of the day, so I’d be in and out. I arrived with about a half dozen other cars waiting in line to pull into the service area. I was greeted promptly by Scott who happily took my car and said they’d take care of the oil change. Off I went to the waiting area with my iPad and a coffee. About an hour later Scott walked by and said my car should be just about done. Great!

Well, a bit more time rolled on, and I realized that people who had come in after me were already getting their cars back. Now, I’m not so happy. At 10:00 a.m. I finally went to the service desk to get a status update, and another advisor looked up my car and said, “It’s just about done.” Scott was with another customer, but as soon as he finished he came over and apologized for the delay. He didn’t know why it was taking so long, and said the oil change was on him. Well, that was a first! I had lost almost two hours on a Saturday morning, but for free service it could be worth it.

So back to the waiting room I went, only to sit for another 20 minutes. Now that free oil change didn’t seem worth it! Scott finally came to say my car was ready. Free oil change for 2 ½ hours was not going to cut it. In my mind I was going to find a new dealer or start going to the Jiffy Lube up the street because this wasn’t worth my time.

As my car pulled up I was amazed to see that they had buffed out a large scrape that had been on my front bumper; something I’d wanted to fix for months, but didn’t have the money or the time to deal with. All that waiting was well worth having my car returned looking brand new! Scott apologized again. He acknowledged that the service time was unacceptable, and that while he couldn’t give me back my time, he wanted to make up for my long wait.

Bottom Line: We know customers want their vehicles ready when promised, but sometimes, no matter how well you plan, things still go wrong. In the end, it is not the situation, but how you handle it that can make a customer happy and want to return.

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