Customer Service at Total Motor Show… or lack thereof
The growth of Kenya’s economy over the past decade has seen an increase in the number of companies fighting for a piece of your pay check as disposable income increases. And with many companies offering almost similar products and services, many decisions on where to spend your money are being made on emotional and not rational reasons. Customer Service Departments are moving closer to the big bosses’ doors as their contribution to bottom lines surpasses that of Sales and Marketing.
So it was quite sad that at last weekend’s Total Motor Show, the treatment many potential car buyers had at the hands of customer service or sales personnel left sour tastes that ended up with missed sales opportunities for many exhibitors.
I visited the exhibition on Saturday afternoon and bumped into a long time friend who had just visited the Mercedes stand. One of the machines DT Dobie chose to showcase was an S-Class that was priced in the excess of 25 million shillings. After admiring the three-pointed star’s definition of luxury, he enquired from one of the attendants at hand why it cost so much. He was – in a not so friendly way – directed to the spec sheet – with a point of the index finger – and told to go read why it cost that much. Sigh!
Despite being a die-hard Subaru fan, I felt let down when at their stand, I asked two ladies why the Outback cost about Kshs700,000/- more than the Forester. This was a golden opportunity for them to up-sell their premium offering. But they stuttered for a while… complete with ummms and wellllls, looked blankly at each other, then directed me to another lady who must have been more senior than themselves. I felt betrayed at their lack of product information.
I was very impressed by Achiko who was at the Porsche stand. At the back of my head I knew she had been hired to attract people to the stand. She, however, engaged me very well. She spoke well and was quite knowledgeable about the cars on display. Her tone of voice and body language would have swayed me if I was shopping for a Cayenne-class car.
Stephen at the Renault stand was also great when it came to engaging the potential customer and knowing what he was selling. I interacted with him when checking out the Renault Duster which was going for a paltry 2.4 million silver ones, brand new! He was very convincing and made me really think hard about why I’ve set my eyes on a Subaru.
Taking the gold medal for customer service in my opinion was Evelyne at the Chevy stand. She found me having shut myself inside the Trailblazer, admiring it’s accessories. She opened the door with a smile and handed me the key, inviting me to start the engine. We engaged quite a while on the Trailblazer, it’s features and advantages and at the end of it all, my Subaru loyalty was heavily dented. I was thoroughly impressed at Evelyne’s professionalism and had to tell her supervisor, who admitted she is good at what she does.
Chevy, keep Evelyne happy and you’re guaranteed to see more Chevys on our roads.
I don’t know how many cars got sold at this year’s Total Motor Show but I’m certain that with better customer service from the exhibitors, potential buyers would have had a better experience at the show and sales would have been higher.