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Chrysler’s Customer Experience Efforts Backfire

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sometimes the brilliant efforts to gather customer insight simply backfire.  Consider for a moment the experience of buying a car.  Your feedback can make or break the dealership’s performance rating, and it is so important that many dealerships have resorted to cheesy gimmicks like, “If you had a perfect experience today, please fill out a form.”

Chrysler is clearly taking it further and bypassing some of this chicanery to get to the heart of the matter.  Yet they blew it, and may have ruined the overall experience with one mistake.

A colleague forwarded this to me:

Dear Mr. ZZZ:
Congratulations and thank you for buying your 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee from Dealership Inc. Jeep and Dealership Inc appreciate your purchase.

It is important that we provide you with the best possible ownership experience. To help us do so, we invite you to complete our brief survey regarding your recent purchase experience. Your feedback is a valuable tool to help improve the experiences of our customers as well as guide future product development efforts. Your participation in the survey process is completely voluntary.

Please complete the survey at https://survey.cdjcustomersat.com. If you are prompted for a password, please enter the following: ZZZ

Thanks again,
Douglas D. Betts
Vice President & Chief Customer Officer
Chrysler Motors

My colleague was interested in sharing a decent experience–nothing stellar, but nothing bad either.   However, when he went to fill out the survey, he received the error message that the survey had expired, a mere 10 days after the receipt of the survey email.

I thought it was admirable that Douglas signed his name. However, his name has been besmirched.  The customer decided that Chrysler really didn’t have its act together.  And Chrysler spoiled a potential loyalty-building opportunity.

Don’t let simple mistakes ruin great opportunities to build loyalty, because when you reach out like this and blow it, you cause more damage than if you’d never said a thing.

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