The Confused Consumer
An elderly man purchases a top of the line new car from his local dealership. He signs the required papers, pays for the vehicle and drives the car home to show off to neighbors, family members and friends.
When the man drives the car to meet up with coffee friends each morning he keeps hearing a loud clicking sound. His friends urge him to visit the dealership’s service department. He drops the car off, attempts to explain the clicking sound and the dealership shuttles him home where he waits for a call letting him know the car has been serviced. The man returns, thanks the service manager who tells him “no charge" and drives off.
On his way home, again he hears the clicking sound and frustrated, once home, calls the service manager.
Man: “You didn’t fix a thing! It still makes that sound!"
Service Manager “There’s not a thing wrong with that car sir, we checked everything."
Man: “I want to speak to your supervisor right now!’
Service Manager: “He’s not in right now. Can I have him call you?"
Man: “What choice do I have but I better receive a call."
The service manager forgets to give the message to his supervisor (the general manager) and after a few days of waiting, the man returns to the dealership demanding his car be fixed right, right now!
The general manager is still unaware of the problem and again the man is shuttled home to await his car repairs. Believe it or not the above delivery of the “repaired" car and subsequent conversations continue between the man and the service manager for two weeks and five attempts to fix what the man hears as a clicking sound—the service manager holds to his opinion—there is nothing wrong with the car. Beyond that, the above conversation now includes shouting, some not-so-nice language from both and the man threatens to sue.
I offered up this customer service training scenario because it actually happened—to my father-in-law and my husband, who was a district manager for the manufacturer of the vehicle he purchased (we lived in another state.) He finally called the service manager, even though the dealership was out of his district and said, “Did you have the technician who worked on the car perform a pre-repair test drive with my Dad?"
“Well no," the service manager says!
Still wanting to sue somebody, my father-in-law agrees to one more trip to the dealership for a pre-repair test drive with a technician. The problem? Because the car was new and had all the bells and whistles my father-in-law wasn’t aware of, on the test drive it was discovered that the “clicking sound" was his door locks automatically locking once he reached the speed of 17 miles per hour. Problem solved.
So, through two weeks and five repair visits, this customer is definitely unhappy and swears to this day he will never utilize that dealership again.
No matter what product you sell, if the customer complains it doesn’t work or has problems, meet with the customer and run through the product while the customer is onsite to duplicate the problem. If not, the above unhappy customer example will happen to you.