Why do companies still over promise and under deliver? It’s a sure way to kill your branding efforts and make customers shop elsewhere. It breeds frustration, anger and finally someone with a very popular?branding blog and owner of a well respected national branding agency to set them straight. So Herb Chambers of Boston Massachusetts, “We’ve Got It!”
I happen to be an influential branding guru, I know lots of peeps. Furthermore we have over 5000 visits a day to this blog and folks kinda like what I have to say (most of the time). So here’s what I gotta say about you and your lack of understanding for branding: the sale goes beyond the customer driving off the lot. Who knew? That’s right, you should take care of the customer every step of the way. Not just until you got their cold hard cash. In my case I bought a Mini Cooper for the wife. She was so happy! That meant I was so happy!!! Ian Miller, email@example.com, my internet sales rep was very pleasant all the way through the sale in early June. Krissy was happy to provide a cheerful financing experience. I even paid for and signed the loan before the car was delivered (3 weeks later) because you, Herb Chambers, asked me for a sign of good faith.
Loan Signed, car on the way, everyone’s happy, until…..dum dum dum (scary music for the dreaded Herb Chambers of Boston MA) you actually have to live up to those tiny promises.
Promise 1: “Hey Scott, buy these extra add ons to make your Mini look cool” says Ian. Okay, I’m in. I bought the extras (lights for the nose of the car, side mirror caps, rear view mirror cap, shifter knob, license plate holders, more expensive carpeting, racing stripes, door handles, blah, blah blah). Since the car is being shipped from Puerto Rico we can order those now for delivery in 3 weeks. That sounded reasonable I thought. Promise 2: We’ll have all those extras put on when the car arrives so you can zip it off the lot. Wahooooooo, sounds fun to me!
Promise 1 and 2: Ah, Scott, the mats you ordered came in wrong. You got the rubber one’s but they are better anyway (they are?). Yeah, those door handles, shifter knob, mirror cap and?license plate holders?never came in. They’ll be in next week though so drive all the way in here (20 miles one way)?and we’ll put ‘em on for you. Okay, that’s a real bummer. But hey Scott, we get graded on a survey so when someone calls you make sure to give me 5′s because anything below that is baaaadddd. Well Ian, if my stuff comes in I will….2 weeks go by and nothing. Where’s my stuff? Hey Ian, help a brother out here. “Ah, I’m no longer handling this you’ll need to speak to service”.
Service? What about those 5′s big guy? Sorry, it’s out of my hands. Forget service I’m going to speak to the manager.While all this is going on we realized we’ve never received anything from the bank. I call Krissy; you know the real cheery one whilst I was buying the Mini. Hey Krissy, help a brother out here, where’s my loan stuff? Ah Mr. White once the loan is done it’s out of our hands you’ll have to waste your time calling the bank because I’m not going to do it for you. Actually she said, you need to call the bank, I threw in what she really meant. So now I’m wasting my day on hold with the bank only to find out that they don’t even have my loan. Yep, never sent in by the dealer, you know her as cheery Krissy.So I speak to the assistant manager Rich, who says he’ll take care of everything and assures me that the loan was sent in and that they have the FedEx to prove it. Great, show it to me.? Would you believe I never heard back from Rich???
Finally I call the BIG Kahuna, Melissa the GM. Hey what’s up with you and your people? Everyone’s lying to me, please, I beg, help me. 30 minutes later Rich’s boss Kerry calls me back and finally the truth is revealed……whew…..Scott, the parts were never ordered and I just ordered them. This meant that Ian and Rich were both liars (how sad, especially that a manager would lie). Secondly the paper work to the bank was never sent in (that meant Krissy and/or the dealership was now an offender). Here’s what I’m prepared to do (taken from her email to me):
Hi Scott, I wanted to apologize again for the experience that you had here.? Per our conversation, I have ordered the rear view mirror cap, red shift knob, carpeted mats (they are here) and license plate holders.? Once they arrive, I will drive a loaner car to your home and pick up your car to bring it here for installation.? Additionally, I will refund you $294 for the accessories that were not installed at the time of delivery. My cell phone number is _________, so feel free to call me there if you need anything.? I will be out of the office Wednesday and Thursday of this week, but will be on Friday. Have a wonderful night!
Kudos to Kerry for not becoming a liar like the employees that work under her. If they were my employees they’d be looking for a new job today! There is nothing more important than your brand image and you never know who you’re potentially messing with. In this case it was me and now I’ve told all of my readers about the type of service and response I’ve received from one of the “leading” car dealers in Massachusetts.
Personally I would never ever again buy another car from them and they will never see a penny of car service from me. If they had just been honest I would still be a happy customer but alas they were not. Kerry did a fine job trying to fix the problem but by then it was just too late. Maybe in the future they’ll try a little honesty as it goes a long way.
Here’s the Herb Chambers mission statement:
The mission of The Herb Chambers Companies is to provide the highest quality service to our customers in the sale and repair of their motor vehicles.We will operate professionally managed dealerships committed to be the leader in the market areas they serve.Additionally, we will provide all our employees with the opportunity to receive above average compensation and opportunities for advancement, within our organization, limited only by their ability and performance. In all instances, the highest level of integrity is to be maintained with customers, automobile manufacturers, and employees.
Remember folks, when you get great service from a company you may tell 5 people but when you get bad service you’ll tell 25 people or?in my case, 5000 people per day. Your branding is everything, don’t mess it up.