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Satisfaction Rating

Years ago we had an issue with a new car we had purchased from a local Honda dealer. Back then our entire family were Honda drivers, I believe this would have been somewhere around our 10th Honda purchase. We were a model family for their company at the time.

During this particular purchase, we had to drive 100 or so miles to go pick up the precise car we wanted as our local lot didn’t have that particular model (Carvana and similar delivery style auto companies didn’t exist at that time). We planned to drive after work, so to keep it from being an extremely long day, we set up the exact time to sign the paperwork, get the car, and turn around to drive home. Only the dealer didn’t stick to their end of the bargain come game day.

Our car wasn’t ready, and they had us sit through a myriad of pitches for extended warranties and the like. This whole transaction shouldn’t have taken more than 30 minutes and we should have been on our way back home, happy with our new purchase. The gathering at the dealership lasted over two hours and we finally left without some of the upgrades we had paid for just so we could get home at a reasonable hour.

After the sale, we received an email survey about our customer service experience. We were honest, and pointed out what had gone wrong that day. This is where things get quite interesting…..

A week or so later, we realized that we never received a copy of the owner’s manual as one had not been provided to us at the closing of the sale. It wasn’t a big deal, we just wanted to have it in case we had a question about servicing the vehicle or how to troubleshoot anything that popped up. When I called to ask them to send us a manual, they refused. The gentleman (using that term loosely) on the other end of the phone said, “You were the guy who slammed us on our survey” and he made it clear he wouldn’t be sending us the owner’s manual.

After I asked to talk to a manager and one was on the line, I explained what the deal had been as to the timing and expediency of the closing and how that had not happened. He mentioned the survey. My response was, “If you ask for feedback, then get upset about what your customers share with you, then why send the survey out at all?” If they had no intention of using the survey to improve their business, then why bother, right?

We never got the owner’s manual, I bought one at an auto parts store for $30. But guess what? We never bought another Honda again. This event took place in the year 2000. 24 years, no new Hondas. Big miss by one dealership in their system that cost them an avid fan.

The moral to the story is this – if you seek feedback, use it to your advantage, good or bad. If the audience you serve wants more of something good, give it to them. If they don’t like the way you handled something, apologize, fix it, and make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Seek input. Listen when it comes. Use it to be better tomorrow than you are today.

Feel free to always give our team at Huddle Up Group your feedback, even if we don’t ask for it.

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