Pondering over a Personal Experience!
On a fine sunny winter morning, my wife and I along with our friends decided to head to Toronto to test drive premium cars. None of us planned a buy, so it was purely for entertainment. After an exhausting, yet enjoyable experience at the showrooms in Toronto, while we were heading back to St.Catharines, we saw an Audi showroom in Oakville. Since it was on our way, we decided to stop by and just do a last test drive for the evening. But the end result turned out to be interesting. We had been looking to purchase a Q5 for quite some time but owing to long waiting time we were never able to complete purchase. Till then I was waiting to land in the right showroom with great customer service that will satisfy my need for buying my dream car. On that day at Oakville Audi showroom, we were not only able to do a test drive but also could lock a deal with quick shipment.
So it begins…
Their salesperson, Paul is amazing at his job and in no time he was able to change my intention from test drive to buying a Q5. He promised quick delivery which was rare for an Audi Q5 and negotiated a great deal. But it only takes one bad apple to destroy the whole batch. Soon after he locked in the deal, his manager came to approve. Everything changed after he showed up. The deal that the salesperson promised was not what the manager agreed with. But that wasn’t the real issue. The real issue was the way he communicated his disagreement. He said, “If you have to drive an Audi you will have to pay the premium. What car do you drive?” That was enough for me to decide not to buy the car from this place. I was so frustrated and left the place immediately.
Elusive Second Chance to demonstrate Customer Service!
After two weeks or so, I decided to call and give the salesperson at the Audi showroom in Oakville another opportunity to make a deal. He brought down the price without confronting the manager and we closed the deal for my preferred price. The Salesperson gave us a specific time to come into the showroom to sign the lease. We drove from Niagara Falls to Oakville to sign the lease, only to find out that the lease manager was gone. This happened twice, but nonetheless we bought the Q5 after repeated visits to the showroom. Upon purchase I clearly stated that the windows of the Q5 needs to be tinted and the salesperson promised to pick me up for delivery. I was quite happy that not only was the car coming quicker than most showrooms, they were also picking me up. On the day of delivery, after some drama about drivers not being available the sales person drove down to pick us and the windows had not been tinted as promised. At this point, I was quite furious, and the salesperson was quite apologetic as he promised to have the car ready with the tinted windows.
Tiring list of disappointments…
Once the car arrived, within a couple of days there was problem with the speed acceleration and I had to take the car back to the Oakville showroom and give them a chance to get the glass tinted. While dropping off the car I asked for a loaner as I had a business meeting in Sudbury in a couple of days. There were no loaners available, so the showroom gave me a salesperson’s car to ride home. Next morning, I received a call from the same salesperson, demanding me to bring back his car and pick mine up from the showroom. In Spite of my clear mentioning about my business trip, they had me come back to the showroom. I was so upset and left a voice message for the General manager of Audi, but my call was never returned. This kind of terrible customer service has unfortunately changed my mind about Audi and I will highly recommend against buying it. Earlier when I had visited the Audi showroom at St. Catharines I had experienced similar kind of bad customer service from the salesperson there which led me to explore the Audi Oakville option. Furthermore, the issues with my purchased Audi didn’t end as I had another issue in a month with light malfunction.
When I called the Audi Oakville showroom complaining about the issue, the salesperson asked me to go to St.Catharines showroom to fix it. Yet another proof of their terrible customer service. No one followed up to make sure the car was fixed.
As a CEO of customer relationship management consulting firm, I am well aware that, providing a stellar customer service is the key to any successful business. I help companies who sell gelatos and have witnessed their excellent customer service. I serve companies like The Goulet Pens demonstrates excellent customer service by providing a video description for every customer concern. Hippo video provides great customer service for $49 per year and it pains to see that a premium dealership didn’t care to do even the minimum. If a premium car dealership cannot provide premium service, then there is no point irrespective of the quality of the product. Good customer service retains customers and grows business which is why it forms such an important part of business. Small companies are going above and beyond to serve their customers. I am left wondering why such dealership charging premium don’t care about customer service.