Calling Customers Stupid Is…

I love it when some company makes my life a little easier and provides the fodder for a post here on the screed. This time it was a car dealer here in town that provided that for us today.

You callin' me stupid?

You callin’ me stupid?

If you’ll look over at the graphic you’ll see what was in my email yesterday.  This was just the graphic part of the email – there was quite a bit of copy that dug the hole a little deeper.  It read:

Drop by our dealership any time during our regular service hours, even without an appointment, and we’ll adjust your vehicle’s clock for you — free of charge. While you’re here, make sure your vehicle weathered the winter and is ready for warm-weather excursions, with an optional multi-point inspection (please call for availability). Don’t waste any more time; visit our dealership and let us help you prepare for the days ahead. We look forward to serving you!

In other words, you’re too dumb to know how to change the clock on the car we sold you.  Let’s put aside the fact that the real purpose of bringing you in is that “multi-point inspection” which may or may not be free.  If you’re going to reach out to your customer base, shouldn’t the  basis of that offer be something of real value to the customer?  Maybe the email should have been instructions on how to change the clock over to daylight savings with an offer to do it for the customer if they’ll bring the car in?  That is providing value – this is an obvious ploy to get people to the service department.  Giving the instructions lets the customer solve the problem (to the extent there really is a problem) in a matter of a few minutes.  This way means the customer needs to take the time to go to the dealer and wait for a service person – a longer process.  The first solution helps the customer; the second is designed to help you.

If we’re going to be helpful to our customers, we should do so in a way that’s customer focused.  My immediate response here is that they think I’m stupid and calling customers stupid is…well…dumb!  Of course, these guys are pretty dumb themselves.  I sold the car they want me to bring in (back to them so they’re very aware) years ago.  They’ve obviously not updated their customer mailing list into “past” and “current” owners in quite some time (I sold the car seven years ago).  Who’s calling whom stupid now?

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Huh?

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