Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Next MINI, Who Will NOT Get My Money


This is a tale of two MINI dealers and differences in attitude that can make or break an organization. In the new world created by Web 2.0 technologies, a world where the customers are in control it would be wise to remember the importance of customer service. Those that do not will be left wondering where all the people have gone...

A recent experience triggered this post and brought back memories of a prior experience that did not go well. Back in 2005 my wife and I ordered a MINI Cooper from Global Imports in Atlanta for our daughter. It was our desire that this arrive in time for her birthday. For that to happen, we ordered the car nine months prior to her birthday. It was confirmed by the sales manager that this would be no problem, no problem at all.

Spin forward to a week before her birthday in April of 2006. The sales person contacted us to let us know that the car would arrive about six weeks after her birthday. Okay, nine months.... nine months ago it was ordered with a promise that this car would arrive in time. Now, one week before delivery.... it's not coming for another six weeks? This sales manager acted as though this were no big deal even though he knew from the start that arriving in time for her birthday was important to us. Unsatisfied with the way this was handled we asked for a deposit refund and looked elsewhere. Luckily, we found a one year old, better equipped MINI the next day. A deal was struck and we were able to give it to our daughter on her birthday.

Move forward 3 1/2 years to last week. Our daughter's MINI failed an emissions test and it was determined by our trusted shop, Way Motor Works, that the O2 sensor had failed. It also turns out that we had received a letter from MINI about a O2 sensor recall and that MINI would replace it free of charge. So, daughter scheduled a visit to the dealer to have it repaired.... uh, oh. Guess what dealer she picked? Yep, the dealer that fumbled the car order 3 1/2 years ago. Guess how this worked out?

With great confidence, they determined the sensor was not faulty and when confronted by the report from Way at Way Motor Works, they indicated he didn't know what he was talking about. But.... they did have a expensive list of repairs needed to resolve the issue. My daughter called me and I asked that she take leave of Global Imports MINI and get to MINI of South Atlanta (MOSA).

Why MOSA? Because of my experiences with MOSA and my MINI. They have been top notch in all respects I always felt they were looking out for me, the customer. I have no doubt they want to create happy and loyal customers - loyal as in long term customers. So, today she visited MOSA. Well, what the heck, the O2 sensor is faulty!!! Imagine that? There was no argument, no push for additional repairs, no resistance at all. MOSA stepped in and did what was right for the customer. They didn't try to take advantage of my daughter and suggest other more expensive repairs. They got right to correcting the problem reported by the customer and did it quickly. Don't forget that they did this for a customer that has not purchased a MINI from them --- yet. Guess who just got my loyalty?

This is what having a customer focus means for MOSA. We are over the top MINI fans. We have two MINIS in the family and will eventually have three since my wife wants one. As much as it pains me to say this, MINIHERO (my MINI) will one day be replaced. That makes two MINI sales in the future. Oh, our daughter will do the same one day so let's take that to three MINI sales.

Where will I take my business? To a dealer that ignores the needs of their customers? A dealer that puts profits above customer loyalty? A dealer that tries to take advantage of customers?

I will choose to go to the dealer that is customer focused, that undertands that a customer relationship is at play, and that represents the spirit that is MINI. Yep, MINI of South Atlanta, you got my back and you'll get my business.

Companies must remember that the power of the crowds has and continues to create a new world order. Ignore it at your peril.


Anonymous said...
1:52 PM  

Interesting read. I actually did have a problem resolved at Global the one time I used them for service. They were courteous but it took several visits to finally fix it. Toward the end of that ordeal I learned to take the car for a test-drive before accepting delivery (the oil light was coming on.)

After 4 attempts they finally fixed it, but wouldn't provide paperwork or any evidence of what they actually fixed. They don't deserve an ounce of support after that treatment.