By July 18, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

First service impressions are lasting ones

I couldn’t get in to my car this morning. It turns out the battery was dead. Not dead as in I left my lights on — I hadn’t — dead as in the battery lost its ability to hold a charge.

I have one of those newfangled electronic fob-controlled cars; you need the fob to remotely lock and unlock the doors, pop the trunk, sound the alarm and even start the car. You need a working battery in the fob and another in the car for the communication to work. This morning, none of the buttons on my fob were attracting any attention of the car. Oh, and as a bonus, the mechanical key inside the fob didn’t work in the door.

That’s not what this story is about, though. That’s the precursor to a service experience I want to share.

I ended up calling two Nissan dealerships for some assistance.

The service advisor at the first dealership walked me through some basic troubleshooting before telling me my only real option was to have the car towed at my expense to his location for service. That conclusion was reached inside of five minutes. And, it sounded bloody expensive.

The service advisor at the second dealership spent about 15 minutes over two calls walking me through additional troubleshooting options. He eventually offered to contact a couple of towing services his dealership uses to find the best price for dispatching a truck to open my doors which would allow me to try a few more things before deciding if it would be necessary to have the car towed. We got off the phone so he could make his calls with a commitment he’d call back with more information.

He did call back within ten minutes. By then I had already started working on a third option. I was able to get a mechanic at a garage near my house to help get me into my car and confirm it was a problem with my car battery (which he was able to replace for me without a tow).

Perhaps the first service advisor was having a bad day. Perhaps he’s just a path-of-least-resistance kind of guy. Whatever the case, he did nothing to win me over as a customer. I told the second service advisor that, because of his approach, I will definitely patronize him for any dealer-specific service requirements. And I have one already. I need to figure out why my mechanical key doesn’t work in my car.

Thankfully my fob’s working, again.

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.