Does My Money Have Your Full Attention?
A few months ago, I bought a car. Now, this was quite the investment for me because I hate buying anything that puts me into debt for a few years, as I’m sure all of my readers can relate. But hey, I needed a car that was more reliable than my legs.
Now, you may be wondering why in the world am I talking about cars? Oh let me tell you why- simply because I had a not so pleasant customer service experience I’d like to share.
I will go into the nitty gritty details later on, but for now let’s just say there was quite a lot of miscommunication, broken promises, and down right unprofessionalism. I mean, I’m all about getting to know my salesman, but I’d rather not know about your drinking problems and recent divorce. (Just in case you thought that was a joke, it’s not).
After said experience, I was not afraid to let “unnamed car dealership” know how I felt about my experience with their business. Not because I wanted to be a whiny baby and complain- but because I hoped in my attempt to communicate how I felt I could help them see how they might perfect their process for future customers. I certainly didn’t want anyone else to be the “lucky customer” that I was.
Here’s what I had to say to them:
1. Focus on ME. I’m the paying customer.
–That’s right, you read me right. Focus on me. Why would I want to invest thousands of dollars into something, if I didn’t even feel like the provider was focusing on my specific needs? If I say I need a sedan with 4 doors, AC, under such and such price- then don’t try to give me a truck with a nice stereo system that’s far over my price.
— Here’s what would’ve worked: Maybe to some people, buying a car isn’t a lot of money for them- but for most, it is. If the salesman would have assured me that my money was being well spent and honed in on my specific needs, I would have felt so much better about handing over that sum of money to the company. Don’t show me a car that is $4k out of my budget. It will only cause frustration. My expectations would have been met, if I were given options that fit within what I was looking for. I truly believe this requires any salesperson to remove their selfish motives.
2. Give me what you say you’re going to give me.
— If you tell me that my car comes with a full detail, a tank of gas, a hat, a bag of cookies… whatever…. Then you had better give it to me, otherwise my trust has completely gone out the window (as it surely did with this dealership).
— Here’s what would’ve worked: Simply follow through! I can’t say it enough. Never over-promise and under-deliver. Now, I understand that sometimes mistakes happen and promises cannot always be fulfilled. However, if that’s the case, I would have felt important if the salesperson would have made up for the broken promise by offering something similar in its place. This shows responsibility and care on the company’s end. Not to mention the fact that fulfilled promises, in whatever way, can ensure repeat business. I can guarantee this company would have had my business again (because they sell great cars) if they had delivered.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate- Oh, and did I say communicate?
–My salesman, let’s call him Bill, was all about blaming what didn’t get done on those around him. Not only did Bill have someone else to blame, but so did Bob-his manager, who promised us that he would personally take care of things when they were not. Did Bob or Bill follow through on their communication skills? Did I get any sort of heads up of when I was to pick up my car, ever? Well, considering the fact that I’m writing this, I’d say it’s a big N-O.
— Here’s what would’ve worked: Clearly communicated deadlines and expectations are so crucial to a customer’s happiness. I was so excited to have this new, shiny car and when I was told they would detail the car over night and they’d call me in the morning, I was so disappointed when no call came. I ended up going there later that night, only to find my car had yet to be detailed. A simple phone call that morning, letting me know that my detail had been delayed, would have been just fine. Communication is honestly so vital to every part of customer service. A lack of communication can lead to an assortment of problems. All I wanted, and all I think every customer wants, is clear communication.
So how can you apply this experience into your life?
We know that cars may have absolutely nothing to do with your company, but it has everything to do with investing your money or your customers investing their money into you. And we understand that sometimes you or your customer have to sell plasma, take from a 401k, borrow money from life insurance, and sometimes from his/her own mother to make such an investment. However, please remember that as a provider- it is crucial for you to value your buyer and give them the best experience as possible. This, in turn, will give you great referrals, return service, and a good name.