I had a terrible customer experience at a car dealership last month. I went to take my car in for service and long story short, I was not greeted when I came into the service bay. Like I was ignored for about 15 to 20 minutes. But eventually I just went in to the service center and got my car taken care of.
Weeks past and I had long forgotten about the incident until I received a survey about my visit recently. So I filled out the survey and noted what happened. About 15 minutes later I received an email from the service manager at the dealership asking if she could talk with me about the incident.
I called her and explained what happened and she was super apologetic. I told her it was no big deal, everyone has off days. So she asked what she could offer to ameliorate the situation. Nothing came to mind so she offered me a free oil change at my next visit—if I in fact ever chose to visit the dealership again. I felt encouraged and validated when she offered the oil change. It made me feel seen and heard, which was nice.
Fast forward to today and I checked my mail to find I had received a 2-month free subscription to SiriusXM radio. The start of the letter read: Your dealer and SiriusXM want to thank you for bringing in your [make and model of car) for a service visit. As a reward for your loyalty, we’re giving you a Free 2-month trial subscription to SiriusXM. Totally free. Costs you nothing. No strings attached.
Now I had never been to this dealership before, and the service I had to have done was to get a recall taken care of. So this act of kind generosity I knew had to be from the service manager at the dealership. I feel the need to call and thank her, but I also felt so grateful because she went over and above what was necessary. I didn’t need the oil change or the SiriusXM subscription for that matter. I just wanted to be heard. And to let the dealership know that that’s probably not how you want to treat your customers. And I accomplished that with the survey. But it sure felt nice that people still care how you’re treated and will try to make an effort to do better going forward. It felt, well, encouraging, and gives me hope that we’re doing better as human beings and maybe things are beginning to really shift after all.