We often have to try and see both points of view when assessing what is right and wrong but sometimes it’s just not that easy. Make no bones about it the car business in the UK is many times better than it was in the bad old days. However, although there will always be customers who have a negative story to tell, and God knows we have some pretty horrendous tales to tell ourselves, the feeling we get these days is that, despite the great strides that have been made, the expectations of the buyer are still not being met by the dealer.
Often if you analyse some of the comments on customer satisfaction surveys it’s because a deal couldn’t be agreed. But does that mean it is bad service or more simply a failure to agree terms? There doesn’t appear to be a yes or no answer to this.
Certainly if a customer has set his heart on buying a specific car and cannot get the dealer to offer enough for his part-exchange this in itself could be reason enough for bad feelings to surface.
Similarly if the salesperson thinks he has established that the buyer is on the right car for the correct budget you could see it maybe being a bit frustrating to put in lots of hours only to be foiled by not reaching agreement and thereby failing to make the deal work for his business.
Luckily we are still far too polite in this country to make a fuss, usually the customer will try his luck elsewhere and the salesperson will move on to the next prospect and that will pretty much be that.
Our American cousins, it seems, do not take the whole thing quite as lightly as perhaps we do judging by some of the bullets being dodged on car buying sites out there, check out this comments made to Jeff Ostroff’s carbuyingtips.com website:
I invite you to spend a week in my dealership to see how things really work. Price does not sell cars, the car itself does. If someone really loves a car they will pay a premium price for that vehicle. And normally they are the happiest of all customers. The goofball who comes in with all of the internet info., consumer reports printouts, and a chip on their shoulder saying “I WILL NOT GET SCREWED!!!!”, are the people that we always have the nagging problems with. The only thing I can say to you is to get some experience from the other side before shooting your mouth off, it just makes you look that much less intelligent.”
And there are plenty more where that came from.
Thankfully we seem to have overcome the ‘we hate customers’ stage and emerged from the ‘how dare you ask for a discount’ period but it will certainly do dealers a favour that when they say no to a deal at least say it with a smile or you could end up the wrong end of some bad publicity and we don’t want that again do we?