Customer service; the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services
I’ve spent quite a few years in the motor trade in various roles. I started in the ‘90’s as a junior car sales person and worked for various dealers, representing various marques over the years.
Since then I’ve had no end of cars, some company cars and some my own, and in all this time have interacted with literally hundreds of dealers. I have many friends still in the trade.
In all these years and with all the dealers and garages I’ve had contact with, I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve received what I would consider to be good service.
When I was in the trade myself I witnessed first hand some truly awful examples of customer service. I’ll probably write some funny stories about it one day.
In my opinion, it’s motivated by a short term appetite for money.
It seems the motor trade has been obsessed with wringing every last penny from a customer today and not nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship that could last for years. They all talk about doing it but it’s just talk.
Of course this is a generalisation based on my personal experience and my cynical opinion, take it with a pinch of salt. Please feel free to tell me about great example of customer service you have experienced.
Some customers feel so strongly that they go to extreme lengths to voice their betrayal, for example setting up social media accounts dedicated to unmasking these dealers for the rogues they are.
What prompted this? Well, every time I have a car serviced or tyres replaced or a million other things, and I get treated like cattle, not called back, sat in a waiting area for ages blah blah, I think ‘I must write about this’.
Then, the unthinkable happened. I had a great experience!
There used to be a Ford main dealer in Northampton that as usual, had a bad reputation. One customer felt so aggrieved they went to the trouble of making an animated film to express his disgust which went viral.
Eventually the Ford main dealer closed and after a few years the site came back to life as a used car garage under the name SJN Motors.
This garage made all the usual pledges and claims about excellent customer service and so on.
Now, I had to buy a car recently so ended up at SJN. I was prepared for the usual dreadful experience but it was a revelation, I’m not joking.
They genuinely care. The sales people don’t bother you, the process is simple and completely pressure free and they did more than we agreed, yes more!
They also offer a no quibble money back guarantee if you’re not happy too. If there is anything wrong with the car or you just don’t like it, they’ll swap it for another or even give you all of your money back. I can honestly say it was the best experience I’ve ever had in the motor trade.
The only other time I received a customer service experience like this was a press day with Rolls Royce.
Maybe I have been unlucky and just seen the worst of the motor trade. Maybe there are hundreds more awesome garages just like SJN motors that give great customer service. If you know of any, please, please let me know so I can regain some faith in the motor trade.
Otherwise, the rest of you dealers and garages out there take note. We, your customers, are your most valuable resource. Treat us like you actually care for once and we will reward you with recommendations to our friends and come back again and again to spend money with you. It’s so simple anyone could do it………they just don’t.