When I was a kid, a local car dealer had long-running advertising campaign centered on the tagline: “A better car deal – we wrote the book!”
Recently, another Minnesota car dealer made a good start writing a different kind of book. This one might be called: “How to drive customers away by the busload.”
in the StarTribune would make a good first chapter. It tells how this
car dealer has dealt with a customer over what appears to be the car
dealer’s mistake. (According to the article, they undercharged her by
One of their tactics was to sue their customer. (But it’s not clear
she did anything wrong other than unwittingly get a very good deal on
the car she bought from them.)
We all know newspaper articles never have all the facts. But if the
basics of this story are true then this dealer made a costly mistake in
how they chose to resolve a problem. The bad publicity alone has run
way past the value of the mistake they made.
Fighting with your customer is never the answer. It’s even worse
when the company is at fault and they resort to bullying tactics to fix
When a company does that they send a powerful message:
“You cannot trust us to look out for you.”
They might be fine if there are never any problems with your
transaction. But if the going gets tough they will not be there to help
you. They’ll look out only for themselves regardless of who’s at fault.
That’s what this behavior tells customers.
As a customer, how does this feel to you? Does it make you want to do business with them?