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The Disappointing, Ridiculous, And Fabulous Tale Of Three Car Dealerships
From:
Val Wright -- Global Leadership and Innovation Expert Val Wright -- Global Leadership and Innovation Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Angeles, CA
Monday, April 11, 2022

 

We bought a new car and it was far more painful than it needed to be. 

The Disappointing: We’ve had two Mercedes of various models for the last nine years but lately the service and after care just has been dismal. Each visit always resulted in having to return the car again as the problem hadn’t been resolved as promised… whether a knocking sound when turning a corner or the parking camera not working, it would go in to be fixed but it never quite worked out. A minor inconvenience once maybe but when it kept happening my patience wore thin. 

It wouldn’t have taken much for someone to pattern match in the service department and give us a call and acknowledge the issues and ask us what we planned to do with our two cars. But instead, radio silence. 

The ridiculous: When we decided to try a different manufacturer I couldn’t make this next story up. We needed a 7 seater and decided to take a look at the Kia version because of the size of the storage space. The car drove ok and we may have been tempted to buy one…but when we walked in the actual dealership that soon changed! It was like a scene from Wolf of Wall Street with a 99% all male staff sat at computers, excessively high giving each other and loud music blasting with the sales “guys” all hustling around a “deal desk” like they were on a Wall Street trading floor in the 1990s. . 

I had a strange feeling it wasn’t going to go well when our sales person incessantly was trying to get me to sit in the car again after I just got out, it took me saying no four times before he finally stopped asking!

But the strangest part was being handed a blank sheet of paper with four boxes on it where we were to write the price we wanted to pay for the car, how much we wanted for our trade in, how much cash we wanted to put down, and how much we wanted to pay a month —-I was speechless. 

When we were left to sit and wait while our sales person went and did a deal for us, I was convinced it was being wired out to make it look like he was negotiating for us. Needless to say I spent that time looking up Yelp reviews to see what other customers had to report and it wasn’t pretty so we decided to leave. 

As we were walking out we were hastily introduced to someone else who shook my husbands hand formally but then smiled and waved at me as a would to a three year old child! We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. 

Finally the fabulous:

Next up was the Audi dealership where, spoiler alert, we bought our next car. There was no fanfare, marching band, or unexpected amazing moments just good, simple, speedy service by a sales expert who just listened. To both of us equally. After the debacle that morning we were delighted to have someone talk factually to us. 

Complaints, mistakes, and failures are the best time to win a customer for life. Mercedes lost a near decade long customer this week but I’m not sure they really care. 

I’m curious how you show you care when you fail a customer. 

Dedicated to growing your business,

Val

P.S. I hope you enjoyed this week's VAL-uable Insights, sign up here to get them in your inbox each Monday morning: http://valwrightconsulting.com/newsletter-sign-up/

  Val Wright is a recognized leadership and organization expert. Working with Xbox, Microsoft, Amazon and LinkedIn, she has spent the last 20 years partnering with executives to accelerate growth and gain market superiority across the the games, technology, retail and e-commerce industries.

She is know for telling leaders what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Leaders seek her out when they need to accelerate their business results, build organizations, develop leaders and create world-class people strategies. Val is a dynamic speaker who will provoke, inspire and provide immediate value to your audience. She has been quoted in Fast Company, E-commerce times, Yahoo.com, Aol.com, usnews.com, NJ.com, TheNetworkJournal.com and TechNerwsWorld.com.

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