The Unsecret Shopper Goes Shopping: Des Moines Auto Repair Online Part 2


 

Unless you own a car hoist (or a Prius, which weighs about as much as a Hot Wheel, and I know because I own both vehicles) you probably can’t see your car from the above POV.

That means you probably depend on an auto repair shop (or two) to fix your car when things need fixing. You may even use their websites to schedule the service.

That’s what I did – posing as “Carol Hartog,” a dude with an aging Saturn and a lot of time to kill. I/he scheduled service at 29 Des Moines area auto repair shops, using their website scheduling portals. Yesterday’s Part 1 review covered 14 shops. Today’s review looks at the other 15.

Besides imputing the data the portals asked for – make/model of car, service needed, dates/times desired, email address and phone number (I created an email address for Carol, and submitted my own cell phone number) – I also sent these additional comments:

I’ve got a 2001 Saturn that’s been having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also need 4 new tires – please include these in a quote. Thank you.

Carol Hartog

Service for the shops featured yesterday was scheduled back on Monday, December 27th. Service for the shops in today’s review was scheduled on Friday, December 31st.

Since I train this customer service stuff, including with the employees of Westside Auto Pros, an auto repair shop in Clive (that was featured in yesterday’s review), I have a very strong idea of how fast the response should come, and how it should be worded.

Here’s what a perfect email response looks like, and why (from yesterday’s post):

Hi Carol!

Thank you for scheduling service with us!

We can definitely help you with your transmission problem, and take care of your tire needs. Which day would work best – Monday or Tuesday morning? We have a free shuttle service and can take you to and from work while your car is being worked on, or we also have free pick-up and delivery. Let me know which day and time works best, either via email or you can call me directly at 555-5555.

Thank you for choosing Westside Auto Pros! We look forward to seeing you next week!

 

Jonnie Wright

Master Customer Happy Care Empathetic Expert Uber-Mothering Specialist

Westside Auto Pros

The opening “hi” line is happy and informal and personalized, so the recipient feels like it was a person who wrote it, not a response bot. The second “thank you” paragraph expresses how thankful the writer is that the customer reached out to them. The third paragraph immediately allays the customer’s fears: “We can help you with that!” The next sentence empowers the customer by giving them options. It also asks the customer a question, and questions draw us in and make us feel like the person asking them, cares. The “shuttle” sentence displays a desire to make it as easy as possible for the customer, plus brands services that the customer may not be aware of. The “call me directly” line tells the customer that this person is taking ownership of their satisfaction. The next paragraph thanks the customer again (kill ’em with kindness) and expresses enthusiasm for seeing the customer. The signature is ridiculous.

The perfect phone interaction mirrors the email. The perfect duration for receiving a response (phone or email) after requesting service, using an online portal, is two hours.

That’s what I’m looking for. Let us see what I got.

 

Aamco Total Car Care

(sent into their corporate portal)

Request submitted: Friday 8:40am

Response received (email): Monday 8:41am

Dear Customer:  Since each AAMCO center is independently owned and operated, prices will vary.  Please contact your nearest AAMCO center by dialing 1-800-GO-AAMCO for more information.  AAMCO Customer Relations.

From: webmaster@aamcoupdates.com [mailto:webmaster@aamcoupdates.com]
Sent: Friday, December 31, 2010 9:39 AM
To: aacr.mail@rcn.com; fbu@pwmedia.com; cr.mail
Subject: Contact us – Regarding AAMCO Services

The Topic Area of the Message was: Services

The other Topic Area of the Message was:

The Customer comments were: I’ve got a 2001 Saturn that’s having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you. Carol Hartog

The Name of the customer was: Carol Hartog

The Customer e-mail was: hartogcarol@yahoo.com

The Customer phone was: 515-480-4190
The Customer Address was: West Des Moines,Iowa 50265

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Comments: “Dear customer” is not the most customer-friendly way to start an email written by someone from “customer relations,” especially when they had Carol’s name. There’s a lot of stuff in this email that doesn’t matter to the customer receiving it. There’s also no thank you. If this email was generated by an auto-bot, it was a slow-moving auto-bot. If it was written by a human being, they should prove it, by writing it in a more friendly way.

Bob Brown Chevrolet

4224 Merle Hay Road

Request submitted: Friday 8:53am

Response received (email): Friday 12:11pm

Carol,

I need the vin # off your Saturn to price you a transmission.

Please reply.

Thank you.

Comments: The email starts with Carol’s name, which is good. It’s polite, also good. It’s to the point, to the point of feeling like the person who wrote it was busy, and in a hurry. There was no signature – the only way I know this was from Bob Brown is because of the email address it came from: boblundy@bobbrownauto.com. That seems weird for a large dealership.

Charles Gabus Ford

4545 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines

Request submitted: Friday 9:20am

Response received (automated email): Friday 9:20am

Dear Carol,

Thank you for requesting a service appointment with Charles Gabus Ford.

You have requested the following appointment:

DATE: 01/03/2011, 
TIME: 8:00 AM
VEHICLE: 2001 Saturn Vue.

We will contact you via Cell Phone as soon as possible to confirm your requested service date and time. Please note that your requested appointment is not guaranteed
until you have received final confirmation. Thank you for your business and we look forward to serving you in the near future.

Sincerely,
Charles Gabus Ford
www.gabusford.com

Response received (phone): Friday 9:35am

Lowell: “Carol this is Lowell from Charles Gabus Ford. You’d requested an oil change for Monday?” (Yes.) “Were you looking for Merle Hay Mitsubishi (Des Moines Imports) or Charles Gabus Ford?” (He’d apparently received both requests via email, since CGF and MHM are owned by The Gabus Group. I told him I sent it to both places because I wanted to see who would respond first.) “Oh, okay…this doesn’t sound like a Carol. But anyway, I can get you in here first thing Monday morning, just go ahead and bring it in.” (Okay.) “Can you describe what’s happening?” (I made up some stuff.) “Well unfortunately, we probably couldn’t help you with that. You’d be better off taking it to a GM dealer. Those electronic transmissions have to be taken apart sometimes to figure out the problem and that’s just not something we’re equipped to take a look at. We can do any light service work on it. (Okay.) I’d hate to have you bring it in and just charge you a bunch of money to not be able to solve it. As far as transmission work, you’d be better served by taking it to a GM dealer. I wish I could help you.”

Comments: I love the personalized auto email response. It’s stronger than some written by actual people.  As for the phone call, Lowell was doing great, until his crack about “This doesn’t sound like a Carol.” You never want to make a judgement about someone’s name or voice or gender or anything – that’s a bad road to go down. Lowell did a nice job trying to diagnose the transmission problem, and explaining why he couldn’t work on it. He was apologetic. But he also neglected to mention the tires that I’d requested, which he does have. He also directed me to a direct competitor, which I think is a very bad idea for any business.

Des Moines Imports

1650 SE 37th, Grimes

Request submitted: Friday 9:15am

Response received (automated email): Friday 9:16

Dear Carol,

Thank you for requesting a service appointment with Des Moines Imports Mitsubishi.

You have requested the following appointment:

DATE: 01/03/2011, 
TIME: 8:00 AM
VEHICLE: 2001 Saturn Vue.

We will contact you via Email as soon as possible to confirm your requested service date and time. Please note that your requested appointment is not guaranteed
until you have received final confirmation. Thank you for your business and we look forward to serving you in the near future.

Sincerely,
Des Moines Imports Mitsubishi
www.dsmmitsu.com

Response received (email): Friday 11:54am

Carol,

What size tires does you Vue have ?

Let us know
—– Original Message —– From: “DI Website Leads” <dlrleads@di-web3.net>
To: <larry@desmoinesimports.com>
Sent: Friday, December 31, 2010 9:15 AM

Subject: Website Lead: Service Appointment Request

> contact_guid :
> firstName : Carol
> lastName : Hartog
> phone : 515-480-4190
> email : hartogcarol@yahoo.com
> eveningPhone :
> cellPhone :
> company :
> contact_me : Email
> :
> dateTime : 01/03/2011
> hour : 8
> minute : 00
> prefix : AM
> service_advisor :

> serviced_before : No
> vehicleYear : 2001

> vehicleManufacturer : Saturn
> vehicleVin :
> vehicleModel : Vue
> work_done : Other
> other :
> comment : I’ve got a 2001 Saturn that’s having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new
> tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you.
>
>
> Carol Hartog

> formType : 5AC45716-F787-E7D9-0461-595E8B8E21C6
> leadSource : DI Service Request
>
> Site Name: Des Moines Imports Mitsubishi

Comments: Great automated email – same as Charles Gabus Ford. The email written by a human wasn’t as strong. And there’s no reason that all that extra computer-generated text has to be sent along with the 11 words written by the sender – whoever it was, since there’s no signature.

Dewey Ford

3055 SE Delaware, Ankeny

Request submitted: Friday 9:02am

Response received: NO RESPONSE

Firestone Complete Auto Care

1650 22nd Street West Des Moines

Request submitted: Friday 8:22am

Response received (automated email): Friday 9:35am

Online Schedule Confirmation

Dear Carol Hartog,
Thank you for choosing Firestone Complete Auto Care by Firestone’s Online Appointment Center Site to schedule an appointment for your 2001 Saturn L100, Default for the following services:

Service Information: 
Tire Replacement
Maintenance Comments: Ive got a 2001 Saturn thats having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you. Carol Hartog
This is to confirm your appointment for: Jan 3 2011 8:00AM
Wait or Drop Off: I will leave my vehicle.
Location: 
Firestone Complete Auto Care Store
1650 22Nd St
W Des Moines, IA 50266-1407
After receiving this confirmation, should your appointment need to be rescheduled or cancelled, please notify us by replying to this email or phoning the store directly at (515) 225-8160 .Thank you,
Firestone Complete Auto Care        
Original Submission 
The individual below has submitted an Online Appointment request: 
Carol Hartog
1127 11th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Daytime phone:(515) 480-4190
Evening phone:(515) 480-4190
Cell phone:
Email Address:hartogcarol@yahoo.com
Vehicle Information: 
2001 Saturn L100
Approximate Mileage:90000
Service Information: 
Tire Replacement
Maintenance Comments: Ive got a 2001 Saturn thats having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you. Carol Hartog
Store Information: 
Firestone Complete Auto Care Store
1650 22Nd St
W Des Moines, IA 50266-1407
(515) 225-8160

Comments: The email is informative, but it feels like no human hands touched it. Great customer service comes from humans sharing emotions, not computers sharing data.

Firestone Complete Auto Care

4323 Fleur Drive, Des Moines

Request submitted: Friday 8:25am

Response received: NO RESPONSE

Hummels Nissan

4770 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines

Request submitted: Friday 10:12am (The most detailed scheduling process of all the portals, it also asks you to register and log in, by creating a username and password.)

Response received (automated email): Friday 10:15am

one2onelogo
ACCOUNT REGISTRATION
Carol Hartog
Iowa
HOME: (515) 480-4190YOU’RE REGISTERED TO MAKE VEHICLE SERVICE APPOINTMENTS ONLINE Dear Carol Hartog,Welcome to Nissan and thank you for creating your new online account.Username:     carolhartogPlease remember this information, as you will be prompted for it every time you log on to your account. Next time you need to schedule a service appointment you can easily log on to your account and set it up at your convenience.To access and make changes to your account, please visit us at My Account
Sincerely,
HUMMELS NISSAN
(515) 251-8130 HUMMELS NISSAN
4770 Merle Hay Road ?
Urbandale, Iowa 50322Please Note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply to it.
logo

Response received (automated email): Friday 10:16am

one2onelogo
APPOINTMENT CONFIRMATION
Carol Hartog
Iowa
APPOINTMENT CONFIRMATION Thank you for booking your service appointment online.This is to confirm your service appointment with HUMMELS NISSAN for your OTHER OTHER on 01/03/2011 08:15 AM for the following services:Repair Services:

Tell Us More
Note: Repair times and costs vary based upon the nature of the repair, parts availability, your warranty status, and other factors. Once your vehicle is in the shop, we will diagnose your problem and contact you as soon as we can to provide details and specific time and cost estimate. Diagnostic and/or repair fees may apply if work to be performed is not covered under warranty.

Your appointment confirmation code is EL90D95G0T

If you need to reschedule this appointment, click Appointment Details.
Visit us at http://nissan.xtime.com/40006 for your general appointment taking needs.

We look forward to seeing you. If you have any questions, please contact us using the information listed below.

Sincerely,
HUMMELS NISSAN
(515) 251-8130

Directions:
4770 Merle Hay Road ? , Urbandale, Iowa – 50322
Map: Map to Dealership

HUMMELS NISSAN
4770 Merle Hay Road ?
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

Please Note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply to it.

logo
Inline Attachment Follows: Service_Appointment.vcs
BEGIN:VCALENDAR
METHOD:PUBLISH
VERSION:1.0
BEGIN:VEVENT
DTSTART:20110103T141500Z
DTEND:20110103T223000Z
LOCATION;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:4770 Merle Hay Road ?  , Urbandale, Iowa, 50322,
SUMMARY;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:HUMMELS NISSAN Service Appointment
DESCRIPTION;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:Your detailed appointment information is as follows: =0D=0A=0D=0ADealership Info: =0D=0A  HUMMELS NISSAN =0D=0A  http://nissan.xtime.com/40006” target=_blank >http://nissan.xtime.com/40006=0D=0A=0D=0AAppointment Info: =0D=0AAdvisor: Jamie Widen =0D=0AConfirmation Code: EL90D95G0T =0D=0A=0D=0ACustomer Info: =0D=0A          Name: Carol Hartog =0D=0A  Phone Numbers: HOME: (515) 480-4190 =0D=0A=0D=0AVehicle Info: =0D=0A  2001, OTHER, OTHER =0D=0A=0D=0A=0D=0AService Info: =0D=0A=0D=0ARepair Service(s): =0D=0ATell Us More=0D=0A=0D=0A=0D=0AThanks for using Xtime’s ServiceCRM! =0D=0A=0D=0A
STATUS:CONFIRMED
PRIORITY:3
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR

Response received (automated email): Saturday 9:58am

one2onelogo
APPOINTMENT REMINDER
Carol Hartog
Iowa
APPOINTMENT REMINDERConfirmation Code:    EL90D95G0T
Date and Time:        01/03/2011 08:15 AM
Vehicle:                  2001 OTHER OTHER
VIN Number:             Dear Carol Hartog,This is an automated appointment reminder for your 01/03/2011 08:15 AM service appointment. Thank you for taking the time to schedule your appointment in advance as we appreciate your patronage.The following services are scheduled:Repair Services:

Driveability Concern
Note: Repair times and costs vary based upon the nature of the repair, parts availability, your warranty status, and other factors. Once your vehicle is in the shop, we will diagnose your problem and contact you as soon as we can to provide details and specific time and cost estimate. Diagnostic and/or repair fees may apply if work to be performed is not covered under warranty.
Notes:

WEB APPT CREATED 2010-12-31 10:15:24AM TAKEN BY CAROL HA RTOG

Click here (Appointment Details) to manage your appointment directly.

Visit us at http://nissan.xtime.com/40006 for your general appointment taking needs.

We look forward to seeing you. If you have any questions, please contact us using the information listed below. Thanks for using our online scheduling solution!

Sincerely,
HUMMELS NISSAN
(515) 251-8130

Directions:
4770 Merle Hay Road ? , Urbandale, Iowa – 50322
Map: Map to Dealership

HUMMELS NISSAN
4770 Merle Hay Road ?
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

Please Note: This is an automated message. Please do not reply to it.

logo
Inline Attachment Follows: Service_Appointment.vcs
BEGIN:VCALENDAR
METHOD:PUBLISH
VERSION:1.0
BEGIN:VEVENT
DTSTART:20110103T141500Z
DTEND:20110103T223000Z
LOCATION;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:4770 Merle Hay Road ?  , Urbandale, Iowa, 50322,
SUMMARY;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:HUMMELS NISSAN Service Appointment
DESCRIPTION;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:Your detailed appointment information is as follows: =0D=0A=0D=0ADealership Info: =0D=0A  HUMMELS NISSAN =0D=0A  http://nissan.xtime.com/40006” target=_blank >http://nissan.xtime.com/40006=0D=0A=0D=0AAppointment Info: =0D=0AAdvisor: Jamie Widen =0D=0AConfirmation Code: EL90D95G0T =0D=0ANote: WEB APPT CREATED 2010-12-31 10:15:24AM TAKEN BY CAROL HA RTOG =0D=0A=0D=0ACustomer Info: =0D=0A          Name: Carol Hartog =0D=0A  Phone Numbers: HOME: (515) 480-4190 =0D=0A=0D=0AVehicle Info: =0D=0A  2001, OTHER, OTHER =0D=0A=0D=0A=0D=0AService Info: =0D=0A=0D=0ARepair Service(s): =0D=0ADriveability Concern=0D=0A=0D=0A=0D=0AThanks for using Xtime’s ServiceCRM! =0D=0A=0D=0A
STATUS:CONFIRMED
PRIORITY:3
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR

Comments: I like the email reminder on Saturday. But three email confirmations for one scheduled service? It’s overkill, and unnecessary, as is all the data gibberish at the end of the 2nd and 3rd emails. There’s a distinct feeling that no actual person took a look at Carol’s issues. Maybe that’s because all three emails included this warning: “This is an automated message. Please do not reply to it.” Where’s the personal touch?

Karl Chevrolet

1101 SE Oralabor Road, Ankeny

Request submitted: Friday 9:05am

Response received (automated email): Friday 9:06am

Dear Carol,

Thank you for requesting a service appointment with Karl Chevrolet.

You have requested the following appointment:

DATE: 01/03/2011
TIME: 8:00 AM
VEHICLE: 2011 Saturn Vue.

We will contact you via Email as soon as possible to confirm your requested service date and time. Please note that your requested appointment is not guaranteed
until you have received final confirmation. Thank you for your business and we look forward to serving you in the near future.

Sincerely,
Karl Chevrolet
www.karlchevrolet.com

Response received (email): Friday 9:43am

Hi Carol,

We will be happy to try to help you with this request.
For the transmission quote we will just be close, as we will not know for sure until the vehicle is seen in our Service Dept and technically diagnosed.
And for the tires, we just need to know what size brand and style you would like, and then we will be able to get you prices.

Thanks for choosing Karl Chevrolet, we look forward to working with you, and will be waiting on the tire info to get you quotes.

Sincerely,
Cheryl Schoof

—–Original Message—–
From: DI Website Leads [mailto:dlrleads@di-web3.net]
Sent: Friday, December 31, 2010 9:05 AM
To: serviceleads

Subject: Website Lead: Service Appointment Request

contact_guid :
firstName : Carol
lastName : Hartog
phone : 515-480-4190
email : hartogcarol@yahoo.com

eveningPhone :
cellPhone :
company :
contact_me : Email
:
dateTime : 01/03/2011
hour : 8

minute : 00
prefix : AM
service_advisor :
serviced_before :
vehicleYear : 2011
vehicleManufacturer : Saturn
vehicleVin :
vehicleModel : Vue
work_done : Other
other :
comment : I’ve got a 2001 Saturn that’s having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new
tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you.

Carol Hartog
formType : 1B619B46-EC10-11DA-9B41-B622A1EF5492
leadSource : DI Service Request

Site Name: Karl Chevrolet

Comments: Karl Chevrolet is using the same software as Charles Gabus Ford/Des Moines Imports. The automated email response is great. The human response from Cheryl was equally strong. She addressed Carol by name, used that powerful “We can help you with that” type of phrase, right out of the gate, and added a nice “would be happy to,” which I’m going to steal. 🙂 Cheryl’s language is soft, inviting and thankful – awesome job! There were some sentence separation issues. And get rid of that impersonal junk after Cheryl’s wonderfully personal email. Make it clean, like the automated one.

Midas

2010 Ingersoll, Des Moines

Request submitted: Friday 10:05am (Upon submission, the site flashes a message: “”A Midas representative will respond to you within the next 1 business hour.”)

Response received (automated email): Friday 10:05am

To ensure future delivery of emails, please add midascustomercare@mymidasmail.com to your address book or safe sender list
COUPONS AND OFFERS | MIDAS SERVICES | AUTO EDUCATION | SAFETY TIPS | MIDAS GUARANTEE
midas_logo
thank_you
for requesting and appointment at your local midas

SOMEONE FROM THIS SHOP WILL RESPOND TO YOUR REQUEST WITHIN 1 BUSINESS HOUR(S).
Contact information for this shop is provided below for your convenience.
midas_people1 Midas Des Moines
2010 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
515-243-1253Hours of service
Monday – Friday 7:00AM – 5:30PM, Saturday 8:00AM – 5:00PM, Sunday Closed
midas people 2
Shop Page
Driving Directions
THANK YOU FOR RELYING ON MIDAS TO MEET ALL YOUR AUTO CARE NEEDS.
OUR SERVICE PLEDGE: We will always do right by you and your car - and help keep you safely on the road.

Response received (phone): Friday 11:03am

Jeff: “Hi this is Jeff from Midas, I’m looking for Carol.” (This is he.) “I could probably find a transmission for you and swap it out but as far as transmission work, I’d suggest a transmission place, like All Drive Transmissions on MLK Drive. It’s cheaper to take it to a transmission shop. Don’t get me wrong, I want your business, a dollar’s a dollar.” (I laugh.) “As far as the tires go, what size are they?” (I tell him they’re 205’s.)  I can do four for $465. There’s a better tire for $524.” (Let’s go with the more expensive ones.) “Let me check availability and email you back. I’m actually a roving manager and only here one day a week. Tom wil be here on Monday and get you fixed up. I’ll email you back. Thank you.”

Comments: This automated email response was the most colorful of all I received. It’s also the best marketing piece, focusing on emotions rather than details. Jeff got back to me within an hour, as the automated email promised – awesome! He was very personable on the phone, although he didn’t attempt to diagnose my transmission problem; he just assumed that I knew that I needed a new one. That had him directing me to a transmission shop, which may not sell tires but might know someone who sells them cheaper than Jeff’s quote. I’m always leery of giving customers a reason to shop elsewhere. Jeff gave me the least expensive quote first – I might have started with the most expensive, since it’s always better (and easier) to negotiate down, rather than up. Jeff thanked me at the end, but didn’t email me back, as promised.

Midas

1690 NW 86th Street, Clive

Request submitted: Friday 10:07am (The same message appears as when I scheduled the above Midas appointment: “A Midas representative will respond to you within the next 1 business hour.”)

Response received (automated email): Friday 10:07am

To ensure future delivery of emails, please add midascustomercare@mymidasmail.com to your address book or safe sender list
COUPONS AND OFFERS | MIDAS SERVICES | AUTO EDUCATION | SAFETY TIPS | MIDAS GUARANTEE
midas_logo
thank_you
for requesting and appointment at your local midas

SOMEONE FROM THIS SHOP WILL RESPOND TO YOUR REQUEST WITHIN 1 BUSINESS HOUR(S).
Contact information for this shop is provided below for your convenience.
midas_people1 Midas Clive
1690 Northwest 86th Street
Clive, IA 50325
515-226-1199 Hours of service
Monday – Friday 7:30AM – 6:00PM, Saturday 8:00AM – 5:00PM, Sunday Closed
midas people 2
Shop Page
Driving Directions
THANK YOU FOR RELYING ON MIDAS TO MEET ALL YOUR AUTO CARE NEEDS.
OUR SERVICE PLEDGE: We will always do right by you and your car - and help keep you safely on the road.

Response received (email): Friday 4:32pm

I received your email  and we can look at your car on Monday morning no problem.  We can easily provide you with an estimate on tires.  We do not rebuild transmissions ourselves but if you need a replacement transmission we can certainly help you with that.  Thanks
Rich Wright Jr.
Midas / ASE, Inc.
1690 NW 86th St.
Clive, Iowa 50325
Phone 515-226-1199
Fax    515-226-1232

________________________________

From: MidasCustomerCare@mymidasmail.com [mailto:MidasCustomerCare@mymidasmail.com]
Sent: Fri 12/31/2010 10:09 AM
To: MIDAS55@MidasAse.com; RussGibson@MidasAse.com
Subject: Book Appointment Dealer Email

FirstName: Carol
LastName: Hartog
ApptRequestDate: 3-Jan-2011
ApptRequestTime: 07:30 AM – 09:30 AM
ServiceRequested: transmission work and 4 new tires
Make: Saturn
Model: Vue
Year: 2001
Symptoms: I’ve got a 2001 Saturn that’s having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you. Carol Hartog
EmailAddress: hartogcarol@yahoo.com
Phone: 515-480-4190
ShopNumber: 2185
ShopPhone: 515-226-1199
ShopEmail: midas55@midasase.com
ShopNotifyVoice: F
ShopNotifyFax: F

**************************************************
This e-mail and any of its attachments may contain Auto Systems Experts Inc. proprietary information, which is privileged, confidential, or subject to copyright belonging to the Auto Systems Experts Inc. family of Companies. This e-mail is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or action taken in relation to the contents of and attachments to this e-mail is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately and permanently delete the original and any copy of this e-mail and any printout. Thank You. **************************************************

Response received (phone) Tuesday 9:32am

Rich: “We missed your Monday appointment. How is the car running?” (Great – a friend fixed it.) “Let us know if we can help you with anything else. Thank you.”

Comments: Rich missed the “get back to you in 1 hour” promise by five hours, but his email was kind. (Add Carol’s name at the beginning, Rich!) He was also the only service advisor who followed up with me after I missed my scheduled appointment. Awesome job!

Stew Hansens Dodge

12103 Hickman Road, Urbandale

Request submitted: Friday 8:59am (I attempted to use their online portal, but it only offered Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep for “make of car.” I emailed the service request directly to Mike Golwitzer, Service Manager.)

Response received (email): Friday 11:11am

Hello this is Chip at Stew Hansens. I was getting back to you with the estimate you requested for your vehicle. I was wondering if you had teh whole vin number , all 17 digits, so I can make a more accurate estimate. This will tell me what engine size, transmission type, year make and model then I can get you a more exact estimate. On the tires do you happen to have a brande name in mind and also are you wanting oem replacement and waht size might the tires be? If you can get me that inbformation I can work up an exact estimate.

Thanks again.

Chip Pearson

Service Advisor

Stew Hansens Dodge

Direct Line: 515-202-7614

Comments: Chip was quick – he got back to me in under two hours. His email was polite, and helpful. He didn’t mention Carol’s name, which can really personalize an email. It also needs a once-over with spell check. And I don’t know what “oem” is – but I’m sure it’s important. 🙂

Stivers Ford Lincoln

1450 East Hickman, Waukee

Request submitted: Friday 9:10am (There was no apparent scheduling portal, so I sent a direct request to Scott Passage, Service Manager.)

Response received (email): Friday 10:30am

Carol, could you please provide a VIN# for the vehicle as parts department will need to price correct transmission and tire prices. Thanks

Comments: That’s it? I know this is from Scott only because of the email address it came from – there’s no signature, and this email could use one. It also would be helped by more pleasantries. I realize that Scott is probably very busy. But if a customer takes the time to email an employee directly, then that employee should take the time to make that customer feel good about doing so. Transcend the transaction. Consumers deserve it, and will reward those companies that do so.

Tires Plus

3130 Merle Hay Road

Request submitted: Friday 8:30am

Response received (automated email): Friday 8:35am

Online Schedule Confirmation

Dear Carol Hartog,
Thank you for choosing Tires Plus Total Car Care by Tires Plus’s Online Appointment Center Site to schedule an appointment for your 2001 Saturn L100, Default for the following services:

Service Information: 
Tire Replacement
Maintenance Comments: Ive got a 2001 Saturn thats having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you. Carol Hartog
This is to confirm your appointment for: Jan 3 2011 8:00AM
Wait or Drop Off: I will leave my vehicle.
Location: 
Tires Plus Store
3130 Merle Hay Rd
Des Moines, IA 50310-1235
After receiving this confirmation, should your appointment need to be rescheduled or cancelled, please notify us by replying to this email or phoning the store directly at (515) 253-9431 .Thank you,
Tires Plus Total Car Care       
Original Submission 
The individual below has submitted an Online Appointment request: 
Carol Hartog
1127 11th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Daytime phone:(515) 480-4190
Evening phone:
Cell phone:
Email Address:hartogcarol@yahoo.com
Vehicle Information: 
2001 Saturn L100
Approximate Mileage:90000
Service Information: 
Tire Replacement
Maintenance Comments: Ive got a 2001 Saturn thats having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you. Carol Hartog
Store Information: 
Tires Plus Store
3130 Merle Hay Rd
Des Moines, IA 50310-1235
(515) 253-9431

Response received (phone): Friday 9:26am

Darryl: “(Indecipherable at the beginning – I think he said “This is Darryl from Tires Plus on Merle Hay Road. Is this Carol?” I say “yes,” hoping he didn’t just ask me if he can borrow my toothbrush.) “We’ll see you Monday at 8am when you drop off your Saturn.” (Okay.) “We’ll talk about tire options, and take a look at your transmission when you bring it in.” (Okay.) “Thank you, sir. See you then.”

Comments: Tires Plus appears to use the same response software as Firestone. The difference with TP is that a human being called me back, and that makes all the difference. Darryl sped through his greeting, but did a nice job of cutting to the chase and getting me in the shop, without trying to diagnose or price or anything else. I love the way he handled the call – until he called me “sir” at the end. Ouch. You know my name, so make sure you use it throughout the conversation.

Tires Plus

3701 East 14th, Des Moines

Request submitted: Friday 8:35am

Response received (automated email): Friday 10:42am

Online Schedule Confirmation

Dear Carol Hartog,

Thank you for choosing Tires Plus Total Car Care by Tires Plus’s Online Appointment Center Site to schedule an appointment for your 2001 Saturn L100, Default for the following services:
Service Information: 
Tire Replacement
Maintenance Comments: Ive got a 2001 Saturn thats having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you. Carol Hartog
This is to confirm your appointment for: Jan 3 2011 8:00AM
Wait or Drop Off: I will leave my vehicle.
Location: 
Tires Plus Store
3701 E 14Th St Ste 100
Des Moines, IA 50313-3809
After receiving this confirmation, should your appointment need to be rescheduled or cancelled, please notify us by replying to this email or phoning the store directly at (515) 262-4303 

Thank you,
Tires Plus Total Car Care

Original Submission 
The individual below has submitted an Online Appointment request: 
Carol Hartog
1127 11th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Daytime phone:(515) 480-4190
Evening phone:
Cell phone:
Email Address:hartogcarol@yahoo.com
Vehicle Information: 
2001 Saturn L100
Approximate Mileage:90000
Service Information: 
Tire Replacement
Maintenance Comments: Ive got a 2001 Saturn thats having major transmission problems, and need a quote on a replacement tranny. Also needs 4 new tires – please include those in a quote. Thank you. Carol Hartog
Store Information: 
Tires Plus Store
3701 E 14Th St Ste 100
Des Moines, IA 50313-3809
(515) 262-4303 

Response received (phone): Friday 10:50am

Gino: “Hi, this is Gino at Tires Plus. Is this Carol?” (Yes.) “You were looking for tires, sir? (Yes.) What size tire?” (205’s.) “We’ve got only four left in that size.” (Okay.) “And I understand you need a tranny flush, sir?” (No, I wrote that I am having problems with the transmission. I describe the problem. He went away from the phone for a while, then came back.) “As far as the transmission, we don’t do transmissions. We do tranny flushes. We don’t rebuild them.” (Okay, so you can’t work on it?) “No, no! We can work on it, sir! We do something called a TVI. total vehicle inspection, we can check it out, see what’s wrong with it. But you said it’s hesitating?” (Someone in the office says something to him.) “We don’t touch transmissions at all. What do you think” (to someone in the office) The flush will make it worse. You’ll want to take it to a transmission place. We actually don’t do transmissions. We can do the new tires. When do you anticipate the vehicle being here?” (I’d scheduled it for Monday on the Tires Plus online form) “Wait a second here – checking…Monday the 3rd? Are you going to be waiting for the vehicle sir?” (I’d already answered that on the online form.) “Okay I’ve got you down for Monday, four new tires, you’re dropping it off at 8am. If you ned anything else, you let me know, okay? Thank you sir, goodbye”

Comments: I like the Tires Plus Total Car Care logo sitting on top of the automated email. I didn’t like feeling like Gino hadn’t looked at the information I’d submitted. If they’re not looking at that, what else might they not look at? Gino was polite and kind, but he seemed confused. He also called me “sir” repeatedly. Using the customer’s name knocks down the walls that exist between people who don’t know each other. And make sure you have all the details straight before you call the customer.

 

Overall:

Removing Westside Auto Pros from the choices of “Who did the best?”, I think Troy at Cottman Auto Care is our phone winner. He was personable, thoughtful and followed a lot of my customer service training points, without knowing who I am, or giving a rat’s patooty about what I do. Great job, Troy! The email winner is Cheryl from Karl Chevrolet. Her email was the perfect balance of caring and knowledge. Awesome job, Cheryl! And I’ll give an honorary mention to Rich at Midas, for being the only person to follow up after I missed my appointment. (That includes Westside Auto Pros.)

Perhaps I’ll mention that during next week’s WSAP training. 🙂

 

Jonnie Wright is a customer service evaluator and trainer, professional secret shopper, marketing strategist and host of The Unsecret Shopper Radio Show, Saturday mornings 8-9am, on 1350, KRNT. 

Ways to contact Jonnie:

Click to be taken to Jonnie’s Facebook page

Click to be taken to Jonnie’s Twitter page

Click to be taken to Jonnie’s blog

Click to email Jonnie (jonnie@theunsecretshopper.com)

Phone: 515-480-4190

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