Automotive Blog

The right customer service, not just any customer service

The right customer service, not just any customer service

Today I tried to utilise the live chat section of an unnamed retailer to gather information on both the product on offer and the actual process through which I would purchase said product. I say tried, as in the end I gave up after 15 minutes of back and forth during which time only the most basic of my queries were answered and a number of irritating mistakes were made.

Mistake number 1: Upon first contact using their online live chat I was immediately asked for my phone number so that they could contact me in person. At the time I was both unable and unwilling to take the time to engage in a phone conversation with a customer services representative who wanted nothing other than to try and make his job of upselling products easier to me, so I politely declined. If a customer wants to talk to you on the phone, they will initiate contact in that manner, if they want to converse through other, non-verbal means, they will initiate contact in other ways, so don’t provide a live chat function if you aren’t willing to use it.

Mistake number 2: During my query I asked for details on a specific product, and mentioned that I was not interested in any upsell products associated with it, just the specific product I was very specifically asking for specific information on. This set the customer services representative off, who proceeded to inform me that at the unnamed retailer they didn’t attempt to upsell any products, ever, leaving my initial, specific, product query unanswered.

Mistake number 3: When the customer services representative finally got round to answering my query they answered for the wrong, more expensive, product (there goes the no upselling, ever, rule out the window).

In the end I got about half the information I asked for, as well as a headache from all of the hassle.

And the upshot from all this? The unnamed retailer lost a potential repeat customer.

The reason that I write this post is that too often I hear accounts of customers emailing dealers and repairers asking for information on a specific vehicle, or a quote for a service, or asking if they have specific parts in stock, and instead of responding with the required information, dealers and repairers instead respond asking for the customer contact information to “discuss the issue more personally”, or attempt to upsell other products, or just about anything but actually answering the customer’s query in a concise, polite manner.

So, the next time you get a customer email with a specific query, think about providing the right customer service, rather than just any customer service.

Image: Bay Integrated Marketing

Written by Gareth Arnould

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