Your new car (or your new car dealer) is giving you a headache. There’s a problem and the customer service you’ve received hasn’t been good enough. You feel like you’ve done your part, but your problem is still unresolved. How do you get it solved?
First of all, if you’re having a problem with your new car and it hasn’t been taken care of, your best hope for a solution is to work with your local dealer. Believe it or not, your local dealership is invested in solving your problem because they know that’s the best way to make you a lifetime customer. It’s a well known fact (known by dealers and car manufacturers alike) that while dealerships spend thousands of dollars in advertising trying to create trust with their customers, statistics show that the *best* way to create trust with consumers is to solve their problems.
But before your local new car dealer will help you, they need to believe that you’re going to be a good future customer. It’s much easier for a dealership to justify helping you (especially if it costs money) if they believe they will earn that money back in the future. The best way to convince a dealership you’re going to be a good customer in the future is to show them you’re a good customer now.
You can show the dealership you’re a good customer by being nice to the dealer’s employees. While it might make you feel better to yell or be rude, nothing will hurt your cause more than a group of employees at the dealership that hate you. If you want to get what you want, give them a reason to like you and want to help you. “Kill em’ with kindness” and you will prove you’re a customer worth saving.
While being pleasant will help you get what you want from your local dealer, working with the dealership’s General Manager (GM) will help you just as much. GM’s have the full backing of the manufacturer and they have the power to do just about anything to solve a customer service complaint. Keep in mind that many dealership general managers are powerful enough to get senior manufacturer sales executives on the phone at any time, so they’re absolutely capable of getting the manufacturer to do something for you. They are also usually experienced professionals that know how to help. Make sure you ask to speak with the dealership GM when you have a customer service problem.
In the rare case that speaking with the GM of your local dealer doesn’t work, the next step is to call the manufacturer’s customer service hotline (the number can be found in your owner’s manual). You should try to contact the local regional office as well. While the local regional office will probably just refer you to the national hotline, you may be able to speak with a regional Toyota executive. Persistence is key.
So, to summarize, if you have a new car customer service problem, your local dealer is your starting point. Make sure to ask to speak with the general manager and to be nice to everyone you speak with. If the local dealer doesn’t get it done, try working with the manufacturer’s national hotline. Finally, call your manufacturer’s regional office. As long as you’re persistent and pleasant, you’ll get the best possible customer service.