My car is very clever in helping me look after it’s every need with interesting bleeps and flashing indicator lights. In this way I can put in fuel before we grind to a halt, top up with oil, fill the washer and organise a service. We are both happy with the arrangement. It works well. However it seems that this isn’t enough. All of a sudden the garage has discovered customer experience.
When we arrived in the service centre car park we were met by no lesser figure than the manager. He wished me a pleasant day and pointed towards the reception area. He was being slightly too friendly. Rather different from the last time I clapped eyes on his sharp suit when he offered me peanuts in part exchange for my old vehicle.
The receptionist was brilliant, but then again, she always has been. I left for home to wait for the mechanics to do their job.
As usual I received a phone call to tell me that my brake pads were 30% worn and other stuff which would cost £3000 to put right, including £30 to unblock a windscreen washer pipe. All of which I respectfully declined.
When I returned to collect my car it seems that under the new ‘customer experience’ regime taking my money was no longer enough. I was urged by the manager to follow them on Twitter and join their ’Facebook’ community if I was really to have the best possible experience. Not long after I received an SMS text inviting me down to the showroom to have a ‘special’ chat with their salesperson about a new car model. Soon to be followed by a courtesy phone call asking if I was still OK because at my last car service there was a blocked windscreen washer pipe that I declined to have fixed; touching concern for my safety.
Why do I feel these are just marketing ploys? How come I’m left thinking these are not genuine invitations to become involved? What makes me feel like this is a new bandwagon which has my cash at heart and not my welfare?
The Manager doesn’t get it. He sees this effort as a sales tactic to ‘make’ me a loyal customer. I was engaged by a genuine, skilled receptionist and my clever car. Now I go to ‘my’ Kwik Fit for a better deal on servicing and parts, and really genuine, honest people, who are interested in tyres and shock absorbers, not Twittering about it.