The Lost Art of Customer Service

Customer service is an oxymoron. It’s gotten so impersonal that we just accept being ignored, put on hold or routed to a Bombay call center. It’s a shock when we’re treated well.

Tell me again how important my call is.

So, imagine my surprise when I had a really good experience. With my car dealer, no less. I consider trips to the dealership like dental visits. Expensive and painful.

It’s funny how automakers create technological masterpieces. But all that savvy dissipates at the local level. Dealers are still hucksters who shamelessly pimp their tent sales and holiday gimmicks. But I give credit where it’s due. Two thumbs up for my Mazda-Plymouth-Saab-Datsun dealership.

Their customer service department put on a clinic.

Here’s my take. I was dropping my car off for service, taking advantage of their ‘free maintenance for life’ offer. A friendly agent greeted me at the door, took my keys and said, “if you need a ride home, I’ll call an Uber for you. Our treat.”

Seriously? I expected to be steered to the waiting room and offered yesterdays’ coffee and a few Life magazines.

Back at home, my phone pinged with a video message from the technician working on my car. He’d filmed a quick recap that visually explained what was done. And then, “Your car has been hand-washed and vacuumed. So it’s ready now.”

When I picked up my car, the bill was $0. It’s true, the best things in life are free. Their safety checklist was easy to grasp. And stapled to the top was the manager’s business card, which read, “If your service wasn’t truly exceptional, please call my personal number.”

So I did.

He didn’t answer, of course. So, I left a message with a compliment. Since then, crickets.

They’ve still got some work to do. But it gives me hope.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

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