I love my Prius. I leased it last summer and I’ve already driven it more than 12,000 miles, averaging more than 50 miles per gallon of gas. It’s comfortable, has a nice ride, and contains sophisticated technology which makes driving it more fun. Plus, the dealership is state-of-the-art when it comes to customer service.
After my car developed a noise in the brakes, I brought it in. The dealership was very accommodating, lending me a nice car for as long as the Prius would be in the shop. The service adviser and technician were pleasant, the dealership is very clean and attractive, and its new customer waiting area is wonderfully appointed with a large screen TV, computer stations, comfortable chairs, and free WiFi.
I’ve been impressed with this dealership since I first arrived for a test drive. Since I leased the car I’ve completed satisfaction surveys, been checked on by customer service and was invited to a cocktail reception for new Prius owners/leasers.
Car dealerships are so focused on customer satisfaction these days that they have seemingly pulled out all the stops to ensure their customers keep coming back for service and for their next car.
But one weak link in a chain of customer satisfaction can effectively spoil all this hard work. For me the weak link was the service department, which failed to keep promises to update me on the status of my repair. Each day I’d have to call my service adviser, only to be told I’d be called back later in the day, and only to have to call again when he did not. This pattern went on repeatedly for more than a week until I got my Prius back.
Customer service is public relations. Creating, maintaining or changing impressions and attitudes takes work, but above all, it takes consistent performance. All the effort that went into making this dealership special were, in effect, spoiled for me by one weak link in the service department. Good customer service requires excellent performance by everyone or it doesn’t work. Your thoughts?