A few days ago, when in Portugal, I took my Gramma’s car to the local Renault dealer, as it needed some servicing. The Customer Service Manager looked up the car in the system, and then wrote down, in what looked a random piece of paper, what I needed – replace a headlight and a tire valve – “the system is having a hick-up“.
No bother. Everyone was very nice and attentive. I left the car in the shop in the morning, and when I came back at the agreed time in the afternoon, it was all done. “Car is ready, you can go to the office. They have all details and will take your payment“, the Customer Service Manager said.
In the office, the Finance person struggled to find the the information about my car’s service. Somehow it didn’t surprise me, as he was looking into a big pile of papers. Decided then to call the Customer Service Manager, who came running from the service area to provide him with the piece of paper he was looking for.
Again, no bother. I happened to have plenty of time, and in between the backwards and forwards, they were actually being very nice to me. I ended up paying and given a printed detailed invoice. When I was about to leave, the Finance person asked me if I would mind providing feedback, and presented me with… a block of chemical carbon copy paper.
I was not surprised by being asked for feedback in a piece of paper, but it was the first time I have seen it in a block of chemical carbon copy paper. I was curious. Asked if it was a dealer’s initiative, or a global one from Renault. He said it was a dealer’s initiative, across the various dealers of that dealership, and that I should receive another request from Renault via email – “but be aware that the link doesn’t say Renault, as this is outsourced to a 3rd party”.
A few points to take away from this experience…
1 – You must be able to collect, analyse, and action quickly. It is great to collect customer’s feedback, but you must be able to analyse it, and gather insights swiftly, as well as close the loop in a timely manner. Collecting feedback on a piece of paper will surely prevent you from doing that.
2 – You should make sure the collection of customer feedback is effortless. Not only for the customer, but also for the person or team gathering it for analysis. I pity the person who, at this dealership, will have the job of collecting the carbon copies, and count or add responses.
3 – You must provide option for anonymous and more insightful response. Customer feedback surveys of this kind, should always have the option to be anonymous (“I need to put your car registration number, and you to sign, otherwise it is not valid”, he told me), and it should provide the customer with an option to explain why he gave that score.
4 – You should not overload your customers with feedback surveys. Let alone about the same transaction, service or experience. If the global brand (in this case, Renault) has an automated and more modern way of collecting feedback (email invitation + feedback management system), surely the dealer can ask them to provide the data re. their dealership.
5 – You must ask your 3rd party supplier to ensure feedback invitation is branded. These days everyone receives tens of fake emails per week, with phishing links, etc. Hence it is very important that your email invitation for customer feedback, as well as the link you share for the online survey, is branded and trustworthy.