I took my car into the dealer a few weeks back (for asoftware upgrade no less). They were nice enough folks and, overall, I like them but here were a few troubling points in the process. 

The most significant was that, when I drove the car away, it was vibrating terribly and the engine was just not right. I turned around went back to the dealer. I went back in and waited 10 more minutes to talk to my “service advisor” (btw what happened to mechanics? – all I know is “service advisors” are much more expensive). I told him the issue and he pulled the car right back in and checked it.

He came back a few minutes later and said “The car is fine. It just runs a bit rough for about 15 minutes after a SW upgrade while the computer recalibrates things.” I thanked him and left. 

Clearly this was not a horrid customer service experience but it was not perfect either. They could have either run the car before I got there to get it right or a least warned me that it would run rough for a few miles.

So a couple of days later when a satisfaction survey representative called “to get feedback on my service experience” I figured I would take the time and give them the feedback. You figure in the era where we have “service advisors,” this would be valuable feedback that could significantly enhance their customer satisfaction. They could send out an EMAIL: Note to advisors – “If car is going to run like crap when customer picks it up – please warn them.” Viola – more happy customers with a simple process fix. 

So they start in with the questions – “on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent and 1 being poor – how would you rate xxx." When they asked if the car was fixed properly, I gave them my story and the person on the phone immediately came back and said "so - on a scale of 1-5 what would that be??” “I think you missed the point,” I said. “I just gave you insight – the rating is not important.” The person came back and said – “we are just contracted to get the ratings.”

Oh man. Have we really moved customer service to a series of numbers?

I think EMC works harder than virtually any company at Total Customer Experience or TCE. One clear thing we have done is to work to connect and interact with our customers in ways to insure we get their  (your) suggestions and input; not just the ratings. I am sure we can, and will, do better but, hopefully, you (customers) believe we do gather more than just quantitative data.

While I understand the need to be able to quantify and compare, there is a lesson here for all companies. Companies get almost nothing from ratings other than data but if you can really listen to your customers, you can get information and, even knowledge! This takes time and it takes a lot more effort – but I assure you – it is worth it! 

Mark…

 

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