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The value of good customer service

Sunday, August 21, 2016
Coaching Corner

Companies that rely heavily on good customer service eventually feel the effect on bottom line when they allow an employee who does not appreciate the importance of achieving customer satisfaction to remain in the front office.

I made an appointment with Neal & Massy in Morvant to service my vehicle, a Navara 4x4 approximately three years old, because there was a problem with the sensor to the gas tank. On the day of the appointment, which was at 7 am, I got to the location at 6.30 am. Having not been advised of the process beforehand, I went down to the QuikService area and inquired from the staff about my appointment. I was told that I was in the wrong place and to take my vehicle to the other service area. 

After parking my vehicle in the regular parking, I went into the office at about 6.50 am where the young woman  who booked my appointment was sitting. I indicated that I was there for my appointment at 7 am. She raised her head and said: “The workshop does not open before 7 am.” Nothing more was said to me, so I went and sat down with the other customers.

While waiting, I noticed a gentleman coming in and handing out forms for customers to fill out. Still waiting, I started to listen to my audio lecture on Anti-Money Laundering. I raised my head and realised it was about 7.10 am. Nothing from the young woman behind the desk. I called my friend who had sold me my vehicle and asked whether he was in office and then proceeded to where he was located. I explained my predicament and asked whether he could assist.

We returned to the customer area and my friend asked the young woman about my appointment. Would you believe that she told him the workshop was closed and would not be open before 8 am? I was speechless. She then told my friend to go across to one of the two gentlemen who had arrived by now for assistance. One of them said he could assist. At this point my friend left. The gentleman asked for the mileage on my vehicle which I did not know. He advised me to park my vehicle under the covered area so I left and drove the vehicle under the covered area hoping that I had parked properly and stood close to the vehicle waiting for someone to come and inspect the vehicle to get the mileage to give to the gentleman inside.

A few minutes later, a young gentleman came up to me and asked if I came in for service. I explained what I had come for and he indicated that he can book in my vehicle at his desk outside. He then asked whether I would need transport as the vehicle would not be ready until the next day. 

I got confused at this point. I asked him why it would take more than eight hours to work on my vehicle. He said because that is how long it takes. I told him that I was not prepared to have my vehicle sleep out and asked him again, why the long wait time. He said that there may be other cars in front of me. To which I responded: “Then why have me bring in my vehicle when there would be other cars in front of me?” 

I asked him whether an appointment could be made so that I could wait for my vehicle. He advised me that he will check and call me for another appointment.

The moral of my story is this: The young woman could have saved me time and frustration by explaining how their system worked and the length of time the service would take when I was booking the appointment. Quality customer service will dictate whether I purchase another vehicle from this company, and of course, my story will be shared with my friends and family.

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