Does the left hand of your organisation know what the right hand is doing?

In February of this year I bought a car from a well-known Yorkshire-based car dealership. Before collecting the car, it was given a full service as part of the sales agreement.

The car has a long warranty and recently it had a minor fault that needed fixing. I took it to the service centre where I was provided with a courtesy car for a few days, and on returning to pick up my car, I was impressed with the quality of the repair work and the high standard of customer service that I received.

So far so good.

But then something strange happened. A few weeks after the repair work, I received a letter from the dealer's customer service team advising me that the car was due its annual service and I needed to call them to arrange a date. I called them and explained that there must have been a mistake as the car had received a full service (by their own service centre) only 2 months earlier.

I thought this was the end of the matter but I was wrong. Six weeks later I received a reminder letter telling me that I really MUST contact the company immediately to arrange for the car to be serviced, as I hadn't yet contacted them!

But it got worse. The following week, their customer service team phoned me on 3 separate occasions, leaving voicemail messages asking me to call them to arrange for the car to be serviced!!

So yet again, I called the dealership and explained that my car did NOT need it's annual service doing, as I had only bought it a few months ago and it had received a full service the day before I collected it from the showroom.

My exact words were: "Will you PLEASE update your records as my car does NOT need an annual service for at least another 8 months." The customer service assistant was very apologetic and promised that their records would be updated immediately.

Guess what? This morning (6th June) I received a letter from the dealership asking me to call them to arrange a date for my car to be serviced!!!!  AARRRGGGHH!!!

Moral of this story: If one part of your company isn't communicating effectively with another part of your company, then you will end up looking incompetent, which could spoil an otherwise good customer relationship.