The Satisfaction Formula – Record Everything

In this post, co-author Dave Sweet explores the importance of RECORDING EVERYTHING in order to maximize customer engagement.

How much information do you store about your customers? At minimum, hopefully you are at least capturing and saving basic contact information. But what other information should you collect? It may seem like overkill to store personal information related to customers like their favorite snack, beverage, vacation spot, etc.—but those details could provide opportunity for some excellent service down the line.

Let me share a story.

I had a really bad experience at a car dealership that could have been avoided with recording practices. This particular dealership is part of an ownership group with many different dealerships and brands in the greater Phoenix area. Over the years, my wife and I have purchased or leased eight or nine vehicles from this dealership group. Clearly, we are long-time, loyal customers.

I had an appointment to take my vehicle in for service. It was going to take enough time to warrant me receiving a “loaner car” from the dealership while they had my vehicle. As I was working with the associate to get my loaner, she asked for my insurance card. I went through my wallet and was disappointed to find that the card wasn’t in my wallet. We had just moved, and I remembered the card was in a different place at the new house.

“I’ll have my wife take a picture and send it to you,” I said to the employee.

“No,” she replied, “We have to have the actual card.”

I said, “I can have my wife send a picture of the actual card right now, it won’t take any time.”

Again, I was met with, “Nope. That’s not going to work. I have to see the actual card, because you could have forged it.”

While I see merit in the due diligence of making sure someone isn’t committing any kind of fraud, I was becoming quite agitated.

“I’m driving a premium vehicle. I’m not driving illegally. I’ve been here multiple times and your brand is one of our corporate clients. I’m just asking you to look at my records, and you’ll see I am who I say I am,” I pleaded, handing her my driver’s license as proof she could compare with her records.

“Policy says we can’t do it.”

While you can imagine the frustration I was feeling, I know I wasn’t mean. I said to her, “Seriously, you have to be kidding. I’m just asking for a little help here,” and continued to try to explain my situation.

However, I was seen as “The Problem,” and I realized she must have pushed a call button or something when the manager walked over to speak with me.  Seriously. Now, if this organization would have captured even the basic information about us—if they had even basic recording procedures in place, they could have looked me up and known everything they needed to know about me. They would have seen that I’ve purchased or leased multiple cars from them, they could have taken and kept a photo of my insurance card, and they wouldn’t have viewed me, a loyal customer, as The Problem. But instead, by their records (or lack thereof), I didn’t even exist.

Why wouldn’t you save all that information? Why wouldn’t you keep notes on customers who have done business with you multiple times? Why wouldn’t you make a copy of the person’s insurance card the first time you ask for it, and only require the physical card if their insurance changes (like doctors do)?

Someone who has been in for service countless times shouldn’t be treated like an inconvenience. After hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime, we no longer intend to do business with that group of dealerships. Was “policy” worth losing me as a loyal customer?

About the Author

Dave Sweet, President of Phoenix, AZ-based automätik is an alumnus of THE Ohio State University.  Dave began his professional career with Caterpillar and Ford Motor Co., and in 1990, he linked up with J.D. Power & Associates to serve as a consultant, facilitator, and instructional designer. His experience led him to start automätik, a company Dave and his wife Kathy have grown from a two-person consultancy into a full-service Tier One international training and events firm with a mission to eradicate boring training from the face of the Earth. For nearly three decades, automätik has helped some of the most prestigious consumer brands in the world elevate their internal training and corporate events, including Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW/MINI, Sub-Zero and Wolf, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Learn More

Interested in learning more and purchasing the book? Check out The Satisfaction Formula’s website and come back next week to learn the importance of BEING FLEXIBLE!