Customer service still not at its best | comment

#hashtags: #TAGS #January 2016 #Joshua Dowling #CarsGuide #Facebook

TAGS Industry news Opinion Customer service still not at its best | comment

22 January 2016 by Joshua Dowling · CarsGuide

Why can Facebook fix a problem that a call to customer assistance lines cannot?

Why can Facebook fix a problem that a call to customer assistance lines cannot?

Car companies keep telling us they are approaching customer service with new vigour.

So why is it that two warranty issues on two different vehicles this week didn't get anywhere until the customers became so incensed they complained on Facebook?

In both cases, the customers contacted the dealer first, only to have their problems not resolved.

They then did what all customers should do at this point and called the "Customer Assistance" phone number for the car company concerned.

Head office is supposed to care more about the customer, we keep being told by the manufacturers, because they have the vast resources to do so and they spend so much money in advertising, convincing you to buy one of their cars in the first place.

So why then did all the calls to the "Customer Assistance" lines lead nowhere?

The half a dozen calls made by each customer were answered, but the head office staff either referred them back to the unhelpful dealer or couldn't tell the customer when the problem might be fixed because the part was unavailable "indefinitely".

Why did it get to this point in the first place?

In both cases the vehicles were $50,000-plus utes. In both cases, they were near new (one month and three months old respectively) and unmodified.

The cars were vital as daily transport and/or for their trade work.

In the end, a temporary replacement vehicle was finally sourced for the Mitsubishi Triton customer while head office finally agreed to inspect the vehicle.

In the other case, the Ford dealer took the replacement part from a brand new Ranger he had in stock so the customer could get going again. We wanted to give him credit for his swift response but he declined.

But the point is this: why did it get to this point in the first place?

I suspect it's because the people who work in head office customer assistance centres don't know what it's like to hock themselves up to the eyeballs and buy a brand new car.

They get a new car every six months or so for a modest salary sacrifice. It's one of the perks of their job. If something goes wrong with their car, they get a new one.

The car industry says customer service is key to survival in the future, given most cars have most mod-cons these days.

But it's clear the industry still has a long road ahead.

Related articles Adelaide's Holden factory could keep making cars20 January 2016 by Elizabeth Henson Bob Katter seeks to stop Uber in Queensland20 January 2016 by Staff Writers Why you could soon get a small car at a bargain price18 January 2016 by Joshua Dowling HSV boss in talks with Toyota15 January 2016 by Richard Blackburn New car deals will continue during January8 January 2016 by Richard Blackburn Comments Related articles Adelaide's Holden factory could keep making cars20 January 2016 by Elizabeth Henson Bob Katter seeks to stop Uber in Queensland20 January 2016 by Staff Writers Why you could soon get a small car at a bargain price18 January 2016 by Joshua Dowling HSV boss in talks with Toyota15 January 2016 by Richard Blackburn New car deals will continue during January8 January 2016 by Richard Blackburn Related pages Industry news Opinion Related cars for sale Search all cars for sale Get the latest news, reviews and advice every week '); }