The unintended consequences of chasing the perfect customer experience

I’ve mentioned in a previous article that my day job sees me visiting many different motor dealers in different parts of the UK and these visits can be a rich source of subject matter for customer service topics.
A recent experience made me think about the unexpected consequences of chasing an outstanding customer experience.
I was sat in the coffee lounge of a prestige car dealer in the Home Counties waiting for someone to help me. This dealership did not have the traditional row of service desks for customers who were leaving cars for work to be carried out.
Instead, there was a staff member to greet the customer at the showroom entrance and direct them to the coffee lounge where refreshments were offered whilst a service adviser joined them to discuss the work being carried out.
Here is a snapshot of what I witnessed:
Service Adviser (in a raised voice): Miss Jones? - A lady raises her hand and he goes across, carrying his Ipad and joins her at a table.
Service Adviser (referring to his Ipad): I believe we are servicing your Vehicle (he described the make and model) and I have the Registration Number as XXXX XXX. (The customer acknowledged that this was correct).
Service Adviser: Your vehicle technician will also carry out a free health check on your vehicle, would you like me to email you the video report? The customer says yes. I have your email address as: … (Again the customer confirms that they have the correct information).
Service Adviser: Shall I ring you when the vehicle is ready? I have your number as xxxxx xxxxxxx. Do you need a lift to work? I can arrange that for you.
This interaction was repeated 3 or 4 more times in the 20 minutes that I was sat there.
I am certain that both parties would have felt satisfied with the experience, but to me there was one glaring error ... data leakage!
Had I wanted to, for whatever purpose, I could have noted the customers’ name; type and registration of vehicle; email address and telephone number, and also where the person worked.
By two simple acts, this data could have been made much more secure:
1. Instead of sitting opposite the customer at the table, sit alongside them
2. Point to the personal information on the Ipad asking the customer to confirm that the information is correct.
Maybe I’m being over-sensitive about personal data, but I am sure none of these customers would have willingly given me all that information had I just wandered over and asked for it.
So, please look at your processes and systems with a fresh pair of eyes. What are your unintended consequences of striving for excellence?

Alan Thompson

To see hundreds more articles click here to visit our archive