Too much love

  18 March 2013

After saying so much about how franchised retailers need to shout louder about the level of customer care they offer, particularly in aftersales, I’d like to add that there is a limit to the amount of love you can, and should, give to a customer.
Allow me to elaborate.

First, I’d like to point out that this recent experience is (for once) not based on the automotive retail, but on the insurance industry (and not even car insurance).
At the start of the year I was sent an email reminding me that said insurance was running out and that if I ‘clicked here’ I could generate a renewal quote. I duly did this and after a bit of online searching found that the renewal deal was the best I was going to get. I paid up and was a happy customer.

A week or so later I noticed two payments had left my bank account for the insurance. You’ve guessed it, the insurer not only took my online payment, but also ‘auto-renewed’ my insurance. Hence the double payment.

An annoying mistake on their part that highlighted a lack of joined up systems, but hardly the end of the world.

A quick phone call saw the second payment back in my account almost instantly and a promise not to auto-renew next year. Happy customer once again.

But then it goes a little off course. An email arrives asking me how my experience was dealing with their representative. Still being a happy customer I fill in the online form. One of the questions includes a box to explain why I had to contact them. So I explained, much as I have above.

I thought that would be it, but no. Because I’d mentioned the original problem, I was then phoned to ask if everything was now alright.

I went through everything again, and explained that it had now been sorted.
Phone call ends and about 10 minutes later I get an email asking how my experience was dealing with their customer services team.

I suspect that if I fill it in I will keep this circle going like some kind of infinite loop. I am ignoring the email, but I am less happy than I could be with this insurer. I was given too much customer service love.

And this comes back to the point that Agenda editor Ray Castle made a couple of weeks ago, automated systems don’t always work if you want the best customer service.
A simple ‘were you happy with our service?’ question and an ‘If not, why not?’ is fine, preferably as a phone call. Massive amounts of box ticking and form filling count as too much love.
It’s a tricky line to tread. But remember, you can go too far.

Tristan Young
Editorial Director
Auto Retail Network



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