Customer Service

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Last week, I wrote this post about the unfortunate experience I had at a Hyundai dealer’s service center.

At the end of that post, I mentioned that I had received a tweet from Hyundai in response to my sharing the previous post with them.

Since this Tweet, I’ve had a few emails and a phone call with Ally from Hyundai’s social media team. (I am assuming it’s a team.)

Ally has been exceptional in communication with me. Our phone call with friendly and pleasant, and he allowed me to air my grievances and seemed in complete agreement that my experience wasn’t as it should have been. He was also grateful for my extremely detailed blog post in which I logged all of those phone calls, Lyft rides, and the rental car.

Since I deal with Noritake customer service on a regular basis, I understand the experience of responding to an unhappy customer, and when I’m the customer, I try to be as honest and fair as possible when relaying my experience. I was really irritated with the whole scenario, but read and re-read my post to make sure that everything I wrote was factual. There are certainly opinion statements in there, but nothing about the actual interactions is exaggerated.

Simply having a conversation with someone from Hyundai who seemed genuine in his negative assessment of my experience was a huge step in restoring my opinion of the company as a whole. However, in following up, Hyundai were accommodating and helpful. I couldn’t be happier with the response from them.

I still suffer the issue of wanting to never go back to (specifically) Paramus Hyundai again, but that’s for another day.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Click here for part 2, in which I have a wonderful interaction with Hyundai’s social team.

In the middle of last week, I noticed that my car was riding a bit rough, and was making what could only be called a growling sound when I was moving at higher than 40mph, and I was deeply concerned that the issue was coming from the engine or the transmission. As my car is still under warranty, I made an appointment to have the car checked out at 11:30am on Thursday, March 1, at Paramus Hyundai.

Contact 1: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 11:30am

I drop the car off and meet Stanley, my service center contact. Even though Paramus Hyundai’s website advertises a shuttle service to anywhere within 6 miles of the service center, I’m told that there is no one to drive the shuttle and I am out of luck. No offer to loan me a car, no offer to rent me a car, nothing. I take a Lyft back to my office. ($13.47)

This is the first thing you see when you go to the service center online:

Contact 2: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 12:39pm

Stanley calls to tell me that they don’t see an obvious issue, and that they will run a diagnostic test. The test costs $150, and if nothing is wrong, I have to pay for the test. I agree to the test.

Contact 3: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 2:07pm

Stanley calls and asks if I’ve been in an accident. I say no, and he asks if I hit a pothole, which I definitely did (and do every year because we have snow and therefore potholes). He says that I have a broken hub bearing, and that it can be fixed that day, and will cost $771. I agree to the repair.

Contact 4: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 2:52pm

Stanley calls again, and tells me that while they thought it wasn’t damaged, that the knuckle on the wheel with the broken hub bearing broke during the repair(he also made sure to tell me that it was probably already damaged), but that they can’t get the part until tomorrow. He says it is $300 but offers a discount of $100 off of the price, bringing my new proposed total to $971. He says that the part will be overnighted and will be delivered by 10am Friday, so my car will be ready on Friday.

Luckily, an available co-worker who lives near me drives me home from the office.

I take a Lyft to work in the morning as I still don’t have a car. ($26.14)

Contact 5: Friday, March 2, 2018, 1:06pm

I have to call Paramus Hyundai because they haven’t reached out to me. I’m told that Stanley isn’t there today, but after a period of time on hold, I hear that the part hasn’t arrived yet, that the delivery might be delayed because of the weather. I’m told I will get a call when the part arrives.

Contact 6: Friday, March 2, 2018, 3:31pm

I call them again because I haven’t heard anything. I speak to a woman who is a service manager(I don’t get her name), and she reiterates that the weather has prevented the part from being delivered. I find this hard to believe, as my office is a few minutes away, and somehow, our deliveries have all arrived without issue, regardless of some problematic weather.

She says that she’s looking into it and will call me back.

In the meantime, I have plans for the evening and the work day is over, and since I know my car isn’t fixed because the part isn’t there, I take another Lyft to go home. ($21.02)

Contact 7: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 11:14am

I call Paramus Hyundai because the service manager from Friday never called back about the status of the part needed for my car to be fixed.

I speak to another woman that I haven’t talked to before. I am asked who my contact was, and I say Stanley, and I’m told that he isn’t there. She asks my name again, and when she repeats it, the service manager from Friday chimes in to say “Oh we don’t get deliveries on the weekend. It might be here on Monday, but maybe Tuesday.” I ask if they are going to call me to tell me when the part arrives, and I get a yes.

I get a ride to Enterprise Car Rental, and rent a car that I’m supposed to return on Tuesday. ($160.54) (Updated cost to $214.06, see below.)

Contact 8: Monday, March 5, 2018, 12:56pm

I call again, because I still haven’t heard anything. I mentioned that Stanley was my contact, and then am told “he doesn’t work here anymore,” which is slightly distressing. I’m told that my part hasn’t arrived yet.

Contact 9: Monday, March 5, 2018, 3:41pm

I call, again, to see if the part is there. I am finally told that it arrived and that my car will be ready tomorrow. I ask, again, if someone will call me when the car is ready, and they say yes.

It’s Tuesday now and I haven’t heard anything yet. It is 12pm.

I cannot believe the runaround I have been through with the service center from the dealership. I was told by so many people that Hyundai was so great, and that hasn’t been my experience at all. I have been previously irritated with this particular service center, and while I would love to not go back, I had to use a dealer service center when I thought that I might be dealing with an issue that would be warranty-covered. I probably would have taken the car somewhere else to have the wheel repaired, but when Stanley told me it would be fixed that day, I agreed, in the interest of time and the fact that my family only has 1 car, so the less time without it, the better.

At this point, all of this extra time has cost me hundreds of dollars. If anyone from Paramus Hyundai had been kinder to me, or more apologetic for the delay, I would not be as upset about this, but I literally have spent over $200 on Lyft rides and a rental car.

To say I am extremely disappointed would be an understatement. I only hope I get the car back today.

UPDATE

Contact 10: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:14pm

I called the service center as I haven’t heard anything. The woman I spoke to looked something up, put me on hold, and then came back to tell me the car is ready for pickup. Yet again, wondering if anyone would have called me, as they said they would. Did the fact that my original contact guy either quit or got fired really cause all of this delay?

A lovely coworker gave me a ride to Paramus Hyundai, so I didn’t have to take another Lyft.

Contact 11: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:45pm

I arrived and told Vivian at the counter that I was there to pick up the car. There was some confusion about it since the paperwork wasn’t done, but it wasn’t long before I was handing my credit card over to pay the $971 for the fix.

I now have 2 cars at my office, and will have to do some juggling to get Will here so that we can return the rental tonight. This has been an experience that I don’t intend to expose myself to again. I genuinely hope that this post will be seen by Hyundai, and that it gives them a case study in how tiny changes in customer interactions would completely change someone’s experience.

This Tucson is the first new car I’ve ever purchased, and I got a Hyundai because I have multiple family members with great Hyundai experiences. I haven’t experienced that as much as I wanted to, which is unfortunate. At this point in time, I can’t imagine that I will buy another Hyundai.

Tell me about your favorite car brands on Twitter.

UPDATE 2

Due to work schedules and juggling cars, we dropped the rental car off at Enterprise after they closed and put the key in the drop slot. As we didn’t get there before closing, we were charged for another day of rental on the final bill. The price for the rental is increased to $214.06.

Contact 12: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, via Twitter

After tweeting out this blog post, Hyundai responds to acknowledge my issue and asks me to follow up via phone or email. I will send an email to share this blog post with them. I am grateful for the opportunity to have my voice heard here.

Click here for part 2, in which I have a wonderful interaction with Hyundai’s social team.

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United Codeshare Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 5, 2018

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I wanted to share a short post today about a recent email experience. I know that I just wrote about United Airlines and being irritated with their website, but I’m back with another issue. This time with an email that my husband Will received from United regarding a flight he booked with United but that was being run through a codeshare partner.

Let’s take a look:

OK. Let’s get into it.

  1. This email is plain text. Really?
  2. There is NO clarification on what “RS and/or its partners” is.
  3. There are no convenient links. The words “(whatever) website” should NEVER appear anywhere without being a link. This is internet 101.

I can’t with this. It is 2018 and this is a MAJOR corporation, in charge of hurling people through the air across great distances. How can this be acceptable?! United, get it together.

Tweet me and tell me your biggest email pet peeve.

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I’ve been very into emails for Brand Experience posts lately. Mostly, I managed to review the shopping and purchase experience of many of my go-to online stores, and I’m not currently interested in making purchases of things that I don’t need right now, so I will hold off on the full experience reviews until I try a new retailer.

In the meantime, I received another incredibly transparent email from a retailer that was unexpected and impressive, this time from eShakti. You can read a previous post about eShakti here.

Read the email and keep scrolling for my thoughts:

I could not get over this email when I received it. The majority of companies would quietly raise the prices and hope that it would just go by without issue. eShakti is even in the position of having a rotational offering of items, and so they could have absolutely gotten away with saying nothing. However, their CEO sends an email laying out the issues that face their business, and lets you know exactly what they are doing in order to keep their business in business.

I can attest to the shipping delays mentioned in this email, and after this email was sent, I found myself being more than mildly annoyed that not only was my item delayed, but I didn’t receive any sort of update on the timing.

However, this post is meant to highlight this email in particular, and I don’t want to take too much away from what I think is a great example of honest and straightforward communication with customers.

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I have been randomly exposed to Peter Thomas Roth products for the last few years. I was really excited when Nouveau Cheap told me about a Memorial Day sale that Peter Thomas Roth was having on travel-sized products, as it was the perfect time to try out a number of products for both William and me.

This is the first email I received, when I signed up to receive emails. This is simple and lovely. Things go weirdly downhill from here.

This is outright depressing after the first one.

Issues:

  • Not pretty at all. I know they can make more beautiful emails since I just received one.
  • No indication of how long I should expect to wait before my order ships. Why isn’t this standard practice by now?
  • NoReply email addresses are the most unfriendly. You can indicate somewhere else that no one should reply, and make the email address that a customer sees something lovely like ThankYou@peterthomasroth.com.
    • The from name in my gmail inbox was simply “Noreply.” At least change the name of your NoReply email address to your company name.

This is not better! The same unfortunate email address and from name, an ugly link that could certainly be hidden under a button or link that says “track my shipment,” and again, no design elements to speak of.

This is a mid-to-high end skincare brand, and the products are legitimately great, but this lack of attention to detail is disappointing.

If anyone at Peter Thomas Roth would like to talk to me about a site consultation, please contact me.

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