Buick finally got the part to the dealer and my car is back in my garage. It was not an easy process. I started out with their 800 line; later I faxed Mary T. Barra, CEO of Buick; then I posted on Buick's Facebook page, and I repeatedly tweeted @Buick in an effort to get somebody's attention. All I wanted was my car back in a reasonable time.
After the first week, they recognized my complaint and assigned my case to "Caroline" in Executive Customer Service. She couldn't have been nicer or more professional. When she called me to let me know the problem had been resolved, she made a comment essentially stating she hoped I would be as quick to share the good news about Buick as I was to share the bad.
I'm doing my best to do that. They did resolve the problem and there's no doubt in my mind it was thanks to Caroline's persistence. The dealer was terrific and did their best as well. In fact, I'm nuts about the crew at the dealership.
However...Here's another great lesson, thanks to Buick.
If you know anything about people having a stroke, then you know it's critical to get medical care as quickly as possible. An article from the TIME site states: When it comes to successfully minimizing physical — and subsequent mental and emotional — damage caused by stroke, timing is of the essence.
Well, Customer Service is no different and here's a lesson GM and Buick need to learn. The longer it takes to resolve a problem the greater the damage. Taking a new car in for service one would normally expect to have it back within 24 hours. Instead, it was almost two full business weeks. Even worse, I know had I not been the squeaky wheel, I'd still be waiting for my car. I was an ambassador for them before this experience. Now, I'm silent and even skeptical about anything happening again.
Remember with your own customers, this is a word-of-mouth business. I shared these statistics in another post recently after doing a little research on Google: The average Internet active consumer does 36 Facebook posts per month and broadcasts to 130 connections. Every second there are 650,000 Facebook shares, 100,000 tweets, and 48 hours of video uploaded to YouTube.
Handle complaints quickly and professionally. Don't ignore upset clients.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
Don't give your clients a reason to ever go beyond their first contact to you or your staff.