Is Your Customer Service KILLING Your Business?

Is Your Customer Service KILLING Your Business?

With Coach Jeff Earlywine



This post will start off as a rant or a complaint at first, but hang in there it does come full circle. Here is where the story begins.


Earlier this week I took my vehicle to the local dealership for service. I am going on the road soon to see a client and his staff and wanted to make sure my ride would be in good shape. I did my homework. A few days before I went I called around to check prices, and my normal dealership was in line. So I called and made an appointment. When I arrived I was not pleased, then when I left I was ticked off.


When I arrived they took me right in – good so far. Then I saw the “service advisor”. He found my reservation in the computer. Then he proceeded to try to “upsell” me on “needed” repairs. These repairs were going to cost me hundreds of dollars, and frankly caught me off guard. Remember, I did my homework. I called the dealership before I made the appointment and they pulled me up in their computer to give me the price of the service that I wanted. I even asked if there were any other repairs that needed to be made factoring in the mileage of my vehicle. They said no. I declined the additional repairs AND I also told the guy, “I don’t want my tires rotated. I just got two new tires and the new ones are on the front.”


He said he understood and said he would give me a complimentary wash too – well that was nice. So, I found my seat, pulled out my laptop and got to work. About an hour later he called my cell phone to let me know that the service was done and I was good to go. I paid the bill and headed out the door. Why was I so ticked off? When I got home, I found that they did rotate the tires, if they washed it they only made it look worse and I was still mad about the attempt to upsell me hundreds of dollars.


I jumped on the phone and called the dealership. I asked to speak to the service manager, and as you just know it I got his voicemail. And, “yes” I let him have it. I told him all that I was frustrated about and with customer service like this I would never return. He called me back later that day, acting like he didn’t even listen to all my voicemail and offered to rotate the tires back. I told him that I brought my vehicle to him to have the work done correctly the first time and if I bring it back it will just be costing me money to be out of the office. I know there are much worse things in life, but I was just mad.


Then things got better. The very next day I got their “automated” are-you-happy-with-the-service email. Well you know what I did. I blasted them – in a professional way. Then the "service advisor" that I dealt with called me. He said he read my comments and was sorry. He too offered to put the tires back to the way they should be, but then he did something that the service manager didn’t do – he tried to win back my business and show me how good they are. He offered me a FREE complete service the next time I need it. Wow… now this guy saved the day. He really listened and took action. Too bad he is not the service manager at the dealership.


So… how would your staff have handled a similar situation in your business? Are the frustrated customers just told, “Sorry” and nothing is done to try to win back their business? Or do you have a process in place to allow them to be heroes? Something to think about.

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