Astute Planning, Flawless Execution,
Delighted Customers

Issue #154

Wednesday, October 7 , 2009

Improve or Die
By
Craig Bailey

In our previous newsletter we highlighted a company (Staples) making positive improvements in their customers' experience. Continuing in that theme, we present a scenario involving two companies, in the same industry, with different approaches to customer service, and, as a result, different outcomes of success.

Ask someone you know who drives one

My parents recently experienced their 5th "total electrical system failure" with their 2007 Chevrolet Silverado. After recharging the battery, they took the truck into the Chevy dealership. After waiting for 3 ½ hours, my folks were offered use of a rental car. This required a further wait of 45 minutes for the dealership to drive them to an offsite facility to pick up the rental car. The next day my parents went back to the rental facility, dropped off the car and received a ride back to the dealership (another 45 minute wait). When my parents inquired about the problem with the truck, the dealership proceeded to explain NOTHING. That is, they couldn't find the problem (for the 5th time).

My dad thanked them for trying and promptly drove the truck to the Toyota dealership and purchased a brand new Toyota Tundra. When he got home at 5:30PM, he tried to install the trailer hitch. However, the dead bolt that holds it in place didn't fit. So he jumped into his Toyota Tundra and went back to the dealership, calling along the way to make sure they had what was needed. Upon arrival at 5:58PM, the sales rep was in the parking lot holding the required dead bolt – free of charge. Whew. I mean, this was absolutely crucial so that he could hook up his boat and trailer in the morning to go on his last ride of the season.

In a few days, they'll be taking the Toyota Tundra back to get some accessories installed. The dealership arranged a rental car (at no charge). And, the rental car people will meet them at the service desk at exactly 7:30AM, to provide the keys. If you recall, at the Chevy dealer, they had to wait 45 minutes for the rental car person to pick them up, drive them across town and sign out a vehicle, with the reverse taking place when returning it. Another interesting observation is that at the Chevy dealership, there was only one other customer while there were over 20 customers at the Toyota dealership. And, the Toyota sales rep indicated that he had already sold 3 other vehicles on the same day. People are buying, from companies that deliver excellent customer experiences. Toyota knows something :-)

Companies that fail to focus on the customer in these economic times should be left for dead, letting their very able competitors pick up the slack. Why should we (the average American) fund the bail-out of companies with our hard-earned dollars, due to their self-inflicted inadequacies?

Are you looking at yourself / your company in the mirror? If not, you should. The world economy has forever changed. Improve or die…

 

 

Contents

+ Improve or Die


 


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"Customer Centricity has been instrumental in making the Sophos customer survey program a reality. From concept to launch, the Customer Centricity team guided us quickly and expertly through the process. Their years of customer experience were instrumental in analyzing critical customer feedback allowing us to take swift and decisive action in a very short period of time. Our organization highly recommends Customer Centricity and will continue to leverage their expertise in our customer-facing programs."

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VP Sales & Operations, Americas
Sophos, Inc.


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