Buying a new car should be a little party. This car was not just any car, it was even a very expensive car. So as a customer, I expected even more than just a 'normal delivery'.
What to learn from this as a Customer Experience Professional? For me there are 4 major lessons to be learned.
- Communicate on the process
I fully understood that the delivery of the car was under pressure, due to delivery issues. We all know of the chip deficits, the issues with transportation and the scarcity of materials. But once you know you won’t be able to deliver on the date that is promised, make sure you are honest and proactive. There must be guidelines within organizations, what to do and when. The sales rep should have given me a call and kept me in the loop on the delivery date. Besides he should have given me the feeling that my car and I (as a customer) were important to him.
- Align with expectations
Whether you're in a premium business or a CX professional working in government. Your customers have certain expectations. Make sure you know them and that you at least meet them. Of course, if you're a real boss in CX, you try to exceed expectations ? This should be the starting point of your delivery. Train colleagues in expectations and make sure they understand how to meet them. If you are a premium company or brand, the bar is higher. With my new Volvo, I expected at least a bunch of flowers or a good bottle of wine. But the company got stuck in its own processes and lost sight of me (and my expectations) as a customer.
- No excuses
The fact that during the whole delivery process the covid excuse was used more than 10 times, I kid you not, means that this has become an excuse. It was their excuse to take it easy. To not go the extra mile. If you hear excuses around you (whether it is Covid, management, or whatever), make sure you have red flags going up. Or, as Steven Covey would say, that you keep the saw sharp within the organization. Keep focusing on the desired customer experience. I know for sure, that the owner of the Volvo garage didn’t want this delivery. But somehow, due to business bustle and restrictions, they got lame and didn’t go the extra mile. Make sure you are regularly where the work is done and ‘catch’ those signals, or filter them out of the Voice of the Customer.
- Make it right
When you make a mistake with your customer - like the Volvo garage did with my car delivery - make it right. You always have a second chance. As one of my former colleagues used to say: “First time right, second time perfect.” Which I like a lot. I had a call with the sales rep and told him about my disappointment. He was ashamed, apologized by phone and told me he would make it up to me. The only thing is, that we are four weeks later, and I have heard nothing. Make sure that when this happens in your organization, that you have checks and balances that these actions are taken. That you make sure that people live up to their promises.
Enough said about this experience. It’s sad that they missed the mark and there’s much to be improved! Go fix these elements in your organization. Hope to see you back next month, when I share my new Customer Experience, including CX lessons to be learned.
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