Good customer service will keep customers. The sentiment in that sentence sounds like a no-brainer, but many businesses do not seem to understand that. If you do not take care of your customers, they may not come back or recommend your business especially if your business is providing a service or product.
Instead of talking about companies doing it wrong, I want to share with you a good customer service experience I recently had. We have old cars. Like really old cars. I had to take our 2000 Honda Accord with 170K plus miles on it into the Honda dealership (Davenport Auto in Rocky Mount, NC) for a major service. It was time for a second timing belt and water pump as well as detailed look over the car.
I had a problem. The dealership needed to keep our car more than a couple of hours ( and more like a a couple of days) and they were out of loaners. (Our other car is just an around town car now.) As everything was getting sorted out, I decided to check out the Crosstour, which is Honda’s version of a crossover. It has been on my radar for some time now, but never looked at it too closely.
I took a test drive since we hope purchase a new car in the next 12 months and we really need to do our research before hand. Buying a car is a big ticket item. My car preferences are pretty narrow: AWD and wagon. That narrows my choices greatly. To further make it difficult, we are a tall family. I’m 5’8″. I am married to a man who is 6’6″ as well as our son who is a 4’3″ eight year old and growing rapidly. Then add in my father-in-law who visits us six months of the year and is 6’4″, we need a car that fits us all. I am not interested in SUVs since they are just plain big and awkward. And the only way you would see me in a minivan is if I was found dead in it or it is a dealership courtesy shuttle. And I’m not joking about that. Really. I hate minivans. But I regress.
So I took a test drive. And getting back to good customer service the point of this post. My salesman was very knowledgeable of the product and more importantly for me was not doing a hard sell. He did not talk down to me and was very respectful not addressing me as “hon” or something else very familiar. He asked me questions and spent a lot of time listening to me chatter on about cars. I’m a self-professed gear head, so I could talk cars for hours. Poor fellow.
Any way, I liked the car. Checked almost of all the boxes for me. It comes in AWD. Essentially, it is a wagon. And it has a huge trunk with a hatchback. It had heated seats and aux plug for my smart phone. The Crosstour had decent pick-up for a 4-cylinder car meaning it would merge nicely on highways and pass farm equipment on country roads. The ride was smooth and the cabin was very quiet. I appreciated the steering wheel set-up especially where the cruise control was. Fairly well thought out cabin for drivers.
The one last box to be checked was would we fit in it as a family. Now my husband would rather get his chest waxed while having a root canal before he car shops, so there was no way I’d get him to a dealership to try any car unless we really needed to buy a car right at that moment. I was ready to jump in the shuttle to the rent-a-car company to get me on my way with my son in tow.
The salesman was really listening to me. His manager comes out and says would you like to take it home for the weekend. I said yes; however, this is a new car on the lot and I couldn’t possibly take it home living 25 miles away from Rocky Mount to Tarboro. He told me not to worry and tagged the car. I was on my way with this car for us to do the fit test. By the way, the whole family van den Hurk fit it. (yeah!)
I had two good customer service experiences that day. First customer service experience was with the service department. They were friendly and didn’t treat me like a “little woman” getting her car fixed. Plus, they fixed the car correctly on a previous experience. The second customer service experience was my interaction with the sales department. My salesman was listening to me and got what I was needing.
They got me into the sales funnel sooner that I would have been a couple of days ago; because of the good customer service I experienced. The Crosstour is now moved up to number one spot on my list of cars. It is now ahead of the Audi (the car brand it would be replacing) and Subaru Outback. It wouldn’t have done that if they didn’t allow me to bring the car home for the weekend.
When we do decide to purchase a car in the next 12 months, we will be going back to Davenport Auto first in our car search. Good customer service gets and keeps customers.
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