I don’t know about you, but I tend to ignore any calls that come from withheld numbers or when my phone simply says ‘No Caller ID’.
99% of the time it’s someone telling me I’ve been in a car accident (I haven’t), I need to claim PPI (I don’t) or there’s some urgent insurance matter I need to deal with (I don’t).
But it was 5.30pm, I’d finished work for the day, and for once, it didn’t say No Caller ID…
And I even recognised the area code – it was local.
So, I picked up the phone, despite my reservations.
And it’s a good job I did – it was Audi in Amersham:
“We’ve just had a message from your car letting us know it’s due a software update and service in the next 100 miles – when’s a good time to do this?”
Don’t ask me how any of the technical stuff works there but I have to admit, I was impressed.
I don’t think my car was doing a Knight Rider impression and picking up the phone to let Audi know it needed a service, but it instantly removed all of the friction for me.
Rather than me seeing a little service light pop up on my dashboard when I get in the car and cursing my luck, they’ve taken the hassle of having to call and arrange it out of my hands.
And let’s be honest, nobody looks forward to taking their car in for a service. It’s a ‘need’ rather than a want – most of the time you’re just hoping everything is okay and you don’t need to buy a new car because everything’s fallen apart.
Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit there but I do tend to put off calling them for a few weeks.
So, in one call they’d told me I needed to book in, I’d sorted a date, got a courtesy car arranged, and let him know one of the tyres might need looking at and the key battery was starting to go.
And the person who’d phoned me got every single aspect of that interaction spot on.
He knew his audience and made sure he called me at 5.30pm when I was much less likely to be busy and his call might not be picked up or if it was, it might be met with much shorter shrift.
But not only that, he was proactive, polite, and incredibly helpful. Even though the car is a lease through a fleet arrangement, his attitude didn’t change towards me as a customer.
And I’ve left feeling pretty good about the entire experience.
There’s a lot said about customer service and with so many of our interactions moving to an online space, there are fewer reasons for a telephone call.
But the reality is that it’s a great way to find a resolution quickly, add a bit more personality, and gauge your customer, prospect, or whoever you’re calling’s mood.