by Caroline Gooding | UK | May 10, 2017
Organizations that put customer feedback systems in place must also follow through to make sure the processes are followed. It’s not enough to have a customer feedback process in place; you also need to effectively manage the process.
My car had been acting up for a few weeks, and there was no putting it off any longer - it needed to go into the garage. I booked it in and explained the problems to the Service Manager – and given I had taken it to a well-known German car manufacturer, I trusted it was in good hands.
I was given a lift back home, and told that a courtesy car would be delivered to my house later that afternoon. A promising start. Three days later, however, and with no sign of a courtesy car and no word from the garage after various promises of call backs, I finally got a voicemail. The message was short and to the point. I was informed that I could come and get my vehicle, as it was ready to be picked up.
Whilst I was annoyed about the lack of communication and no replacement car, I was pleased at least the car was fixed. On phoning the garage back however, I quickly learnt that no work had been carried out. In fact, no problem had even been detected. The manager was keen to tell me that they’d run the car through all their checks, given it a test drive, and found absolutely nothing wrong with it, so I could take it away.
There was nothing for it but to pay the garage another visit, and as the weekend was now only a day away, I arranged to go in and sort it out. The manager I’d been dealing with wasn’t in so I was directed to the waiting area until a member of the service team became available.
A different service manager was on duty and when he introduced himself he was fully briefed, friendly, professional, and helpful. He suggested a test drive with one of his technicians. Five minutes into the drive the car duly played up. We took the car back home with us for the weekend on the agreement that a courtesy car would be ready Monday morning.
Come Monday, the original Service Manager was on duty. There were no pleasantries, no eye contact and no reference to what had happened over the weekend. I asked him why he thought he hadn’t been able to establish a fault last week when his colleagues had done so over the weekend? His responded that he didn’t know what they had done as he didn’t have his notes on hand. I took the courtesy car and left.
From then on in I never spoke to the original Service Manager again. The service I received from the weekend manager was second to none. I was duly kept informed and the car was ready on the Wednesday. Costs had been waived, the work done had been carefully explained, the car was clean and fixed, and the weekend manager apologised profusely about the whole saga.
I thanked him, and we shook hands. At that moment, I was debating whether I should bother feeding back my concerns with the previous manager’s lack of customer care. After all, I was happy now. The garage had restored their reputation in my eyes, my car was fixed and it hadn’t cost me anything (except of course the hassle along the way). I knew it was the right thing to do but this wasn’t this manager’s problem. I wondered if he would even bother to relay my concerns.
I was on the verge of letting it go when I noticed a clutch of feedback forms – they read, “THANK YOU for your business today. We understand that your time is precious, that’s why we strive to make your visit with us as easy as possible. After your visit today you will be contacted regarding your experience. If you feel you couldn’t score us a 9 or above, then we are failing in our service to you.”
"Great. A proper channel for voicing my feedback," I thought.
That was 2 weeks ago – I’m still waiting for the call.