Do you really want to help me?

31 Jan 2019

I was never a Culture Club or Boy George fan in the 80s but 36 years later I am reminded of the words to the hit single “Do you really want to hurt me?”


Earlier in the week I was visiting a textile company in Yorkshire on behalf of an accountancy firm we’re delivering a client listening programme for.  The owner of the textiles company I was interviewing - a thoroughly charming and erudite gentleman - told me a story that highlighted why listening to your clients is so important and, more pointedly, what happens if you don’t.


The owner, I am going to call him Jon (yes, I am sticking with the Culture Club theme  - drummer Jon Moss, please keep up) told me the story of how he’d always purchased Mercedes cars until a fall out with a car dealer over a wonky Sat Nav.


It all happened in the early days of Sat Nav (circa 1994/5 when you would have more than likely been listening to Oasis rather than Culture Club).  Jon explained that his Sat Nav just didn’t do what it said on the tin and couldn’t navigate full post codes.  Frustrated (and lost!) Jon went to Halfords and bought a portable TomTom that he could attach to his windscreen.


The TomTom did the job perfectly but having spent £50,000 on a Mercedes Jon felt aggrieved and went back to his dealer to express his dissatisfaction and see what would be offered as goodwill to maintain his loyalty to Mercedes as a brand and the dealership.


Jon politely shared his frustration but instead of listening and trying to get the relationship back on track, the car dealer was defensive, argumentative and showed a distinct lack of empathy or even respect.  A good salesperson knows that fixing problems can be a great marketing opportunity but not the Mercedes car dealer in Yorkshire circa 1994/5. No, no, no.


You know how the story ends. Jon has not bought a Mercedes since. Mercedes loss is Maserati’s gain and the moral of this story?  Are you listening to your clients and how are you using the client feedback you’re collecting?

Posted by Douglas  |   0 Comments

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