Don't Destroy The Launch; Time Kills Deals

About a month ago we decided to start thinking about a new car. As we were nearby a dealership of our targeted brand, we stopped in. As this particular car brand is known for exceptional customer service, our expectations were high based on reputation and past experience.

We were immediately greeted by an eager young man, new on the job, fresh out of college. We did the typical test drive, etc., and told him we would be back in touch.

Fast forward a couple of weeks… I sent the young man an email letting him know we were ready to buy. I also let him know specifically what I needed to happen so that the transaction went as smoothly as possible and took as little time as necessary.

  1. Here is the price I will pay.

  2. Can we assess my trade, sight unseen, or can someone come to my place and assess?

  3. Can we handle financial preparation before I walk in, or better yet, can the car be delivered?

  4. Here is my specific time window this month to make this happen.

Unfortunately, the young man was not well equipped to handle my requests. His response time was sporadic, at best, and when he did communicate, the answers were inconsistent and incomplete. We went round and round for days. While I recognized and became disappointed that my expectations of this brand’s service were not being met, I wanted to give the business to this young man as he was just getting started. So we still tried to hang in there.

Monday night we hopped into our car and started making the 30-minute drive in rush hour.

 And then it hit me…

 Why do I need to stick this out? Force this deal and stay in a bad mood all because this young man was not trained to the level of his brand’s promise and expectation?

At the next exit we made a U-turn and drove to the brand’s dealership three miles from my home. As expected, the service was exceptional; I was able to communicate in clear and specific terms and we left 75 minutes later with the new car.

The lesson?

Exceptional brands, like everyone else, must live their promise daily. That also means training new people that are fully capable to a level of competence expected by customers. A brand promise must be delivered throughout the organization down to the lowest common denominator.  It’s easy to destroy the opportunity and give the customer time to find your replacement.

Well Coached