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Fast Tip Friday: Customer Service DO's and DO NOT's

Sep 15, 2023 7:00:00 AM

I wish this week's topic was more positive, more energized, more something good that happened… But I'm going to disappoint you all if that's what you're looking for.

It's a personal story and it happens to be the personal story of my daughter, my partner, Sarah Waple, and a customer service reality that just proves the point. The product is not the product. The product is the way you service the product or how easy you are to do business with. And in this case, there is an epic fail that she's having to deal with with one of the largest corporations in the world. But I have to tell you, it's a sad story.

So quick replay. Sarah and her family head up to our second home in Vermont. They're not even there an hour and drive down the road to get pizza for dinner. When they pull into the parking lot, her two year old Hyundai Palisades SUV,  just completely craps the bed and dies. And from that moment until today, this very morning that we're recording this, Hyundai has failed to live up to any promise they've made about how important their customer care is and how they value the customer/the relationship they have with the customer. So in effect, what's happened is there's a premise that I believe really sets the stage for your ability to partner with your customers and the people you want to have the most valuable relationships with.

And here it is. I know I've said it a hundred times on Fast Tip Fridays….people truly become connected to you when they believe that you will always do what's best for them, even if it's not best for you. Frankly, by any and all measures that I could give you about how much Hyundai cares, they have failed miserably.

They failed at the Hyundai dealership in Barry, Vermont. They have failed at the Hyundai dealership in West Chester, Pennsylvania. They have failed at the corporate customer care portal. They have failed at how they assign people and how consistently they communicate. And at the end of the day, the overall feeling that I have to express about Hyundai as a corporate entity is, frankly, they just don't care. The car is a nice car. I actually have traveled in the car. I like the car, but any car will get you somewhere. It's what happens when the car breaks and the company has to do what's right for the customer, and at every opportunity. Hyundai Motor Corporation has decided that it is better to protect themselves and to hold a customer hostage than it is to just empower people to do what's right.

So if you're a business owner listening or watching this today, don't worry about your business. Don't be foolish about the expense of taking care of a customer, but at least put forward the effort and energy, and create a culture where it is known in your company that the customer really does matter. It's not just a plaque on the wall or the thing at the bottom of your advertisement that says “We want to exceed your expectations”. In every opportunity, Hyundai has ruined whatever expectation we had on the quality of the culture of that corporation.

This is my rant today. Business owners. Business leaders. If any of you have to do with customer service, customer relationship, building a brand or a culture that attracts people, just ask for our story in total and you'll never buy a Hyundai again for the rest of your life. I'm pretty sure if you offered Sarah $0.15, she'd give you this car so she could walk away from it.

That's my message today. Wake up Monday and do what's best for the customer, even if it's not best for you, and people will come back even when you're not perfect. Excellence is attainable. Perfection is not. But do your damnedest to be as excellent as you can when it matters the most. Thanks for checking out this week’s Fast Tip Friday!

Have a great weekend. Take care.