The technology was all very fine – but what about the basics?

I’ve recently been looking at getting new car. So I make appointments for test drives etc. All good fun.

At one car brand/dealer, once I’d made the appointment, I got an email reminder the day before, then on the morning, and subsequently I’ve had about 3 mails, apparently from the head of customer sales (though clearly automatically generated) advising me of the risk of letting the car I really want go by.

All very fine, if a bit irritating and intrusive. But the real problem is that the salesperson didn’t turn up to the appointment I’d booked and I left after 30 minutes of wasted time. It turns out the receptionist didn’t pass the message on properly, the salesperson didn’t check. The closest I got to an apology was a voicemail saying ‘sorry I missed you’.

I wonder how much effort has got into the automated message system and how much has gone into staff training and behaviour. The former has no impact on my purchase decision, the latter has quite a bit. I won’t be buying a car from there.

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