photo © 2010 Tom Peck.. | more info (via: Wylio)
I previously wrote about Bad Customer Service and its impact on customers. I had an experience this week that really drove home how your employees can lose you a customer in 10 minutes or less.
What Is It About Auto Dealers?
My wife went to the dealer for an oil change (free because of a prior snafu at the dealer). The self-proclaimed “world class” inspection found she needed new front brakes. The price was quoted as $340, which I know, is high based upon recently having the brakes changed on my car.
I asked for a discount since there usually is some type of special offer. I was told, “the price is the price.” We have exclusively utilized this dealer for six years. Over that time, we have spent thousands of dollars. I asked for a discount as a loyal customer. I was told no.
I then asked would they match a competitors’ pricing. I got a non-committal answer. After telephoning two competing dealerships, within 5 minutes I had two better quotes. One was over $100 or 32% better. I called the Service Advisor and let her know my findings. She would not budge and indicated her manager would not budge. She said she could only change the price if she was a member of the family that owned the dealership. In fact, she named the family that owns this dealer and many others.
One Last Chance
I related to her that I would go to the other dealer for service. I further explained that once I tried another dealer we might like then and start going to them for service. She was not interested in salvaging my last attempt at keeping all my business at the dealer. She said, it was my choice to go to another dealer and goodbye.”
The entire process took less than 10 minutes and totally turned me off to the dealer. We had a prior problem with this dealer when my wife bought tires. We gave them another chance. Is there a reason I should give them a third chance other than the fact that they are the closest dealer?
It takes many interactions to gain a customer and retain them. It takes one event that could be less than 10 minutes to ruin the relationship. Train, train, train your customer facing employees.
Those are my thoughts. Over to you. Please comment below.
1. Should I give the dealer another chance?
2. Would you pay more for the convenience of a closer provider?
3. How would your staff have handled a similar situation to retain a customer?