Good customer service, not as we know it

I took my Honda car to a local dealer in Southport on Friday for its annual service. I phoned them well in advance and booked it in and at that same time went through with this firms representative what service was required.

I explained the car was not my main car and therefore had limit use so a full service was not required this year, only a minor service.

Then on Friday I took my car in at 8.30am as agreed signed for the work to be done and left my keys after arranging to pick the car up at 4pm. All this was so very easy and without stress.

However, when I went back at 4pm to collect my car I was duly informed that it was serviced and everything was fine with it and the bill for a full service is ……….

Now this is were everything went south for customer service, I explained when I booked it in, it was for a minor, and not a major service, to which I was told ‘you didn’t say anything this morning’!

I explained that I was not aware after confirming everything over the phone originally that I then have to go through it all again when dropping the car off.

In the end the reception I was given went decidedly cold, I was told to sit down and they would take all the parts off that shouldn’t be on, once this was done I was given my invoice, still experiencing an arctic type reception.

Result, this is one dealership I will never use again come hell or high water. Not a very good way of pleasing your customers, especially when you are in the wrong.

How would I have handled it, or how would I advise my clients to handle it, well firstly, it’s not the customers fault you have screwed up, so don’t blame them, apologize for the error, and in my case tell them you will only charge for the minor service and leave all the parts on and tell them they have done well, a major service for the price of a minor one, good PR.

Then I would find out what went wrong internally, find out why the person taking the booking didn’t make a note of the service agreed, explain to this member of staff that this can never happen again, as this has resulted in the company losing money, and if this keeps going the long term prospect would be no pay rises for anyone and worse case scenario job loses!

At least this way, the customer will come back again the following year (hoping no doubt for the same mistake to be made) and you will have identified a chink in your company’s armour which you can now fix.

Remember, the customer is not always right, but he/she is the customer and you need them!

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