Scenario (based upon a real-life customer service call center report) – Your call center, in a routine follow-up customer satisfaction survey, discovers that the customer was killed in a motorcycle accident. Sadly, the accident involved an eighteen year old who received the motorcycle as a high school graduation gift. He never saw his graduation day. The boy’s mother, through a choked-up voice, asked that the dealership come and take the mangled motorcycle away. The dealership was unaware of the accident because the customer lived outside the range of their local newspaper.
What Now? – There are a variety of reactions to a devastating situation like this. There is really nothing anybody can do or say to lessen the pain experienced by the boy’s parents, relatives and friends. No one can argue if the dealership chooses to do nothing, or a more traditional gesture like sending flowers to the funeral. In this particular scenario, however, the dealership decided to do something exceptional. They put together a memorial ride on the date of their customer’s graduation and invited every motorcycle enthusiast they knew to attend. A rally numbering in the hundreds assembled that day to honor the boy’s life. Additionally, the dealership used the event as a fundraiser for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The dealership raised several thousand dollars for that cause.
Lesson Learned – The dealership made the best out of a bad situation. In situations like this one, you have to put aside your own interests and do the best thing for the family and friends of your customer. Bringing attention to a fatal motorcycle accident might not be the best thing for the dealership, but organizing a positive event that brings something good to a terrible situation is in the best interest of the family.
Craig Brown - Vice President of Business Development for V-SEPT, Inc., a provider of world-class CRM, lead-tracking and sales process software for the powersports industry.