I had half-heartedly tried the Honda showroom number. Didnt get through. Gave up as it was not high on my list.
I had called the nearest #Hyundai dealer. They were to call me back and tell me when they’d send an Eon for a test drive. When they didnt I called back. I was told I had not left my number and address. Strange. I did that. They didn’t call back. Obviously Hyundai has enough customers and didn’t need my business. Fair enough.
So back to the #Maruti Suzuki test drives.
For some reason the sales person who was to come was not on time. 20 minutes late. I pushed my annoyance aside and went down exitedly to test drive a Swift/Ritz/A-Star, whatever the guy had got.
Imagine my dismay when I see a Zen! I was livid. Told him I didnt want to test drive a Zen and how could he get 3 cars wrong! He apologised, said he’d get a Swift and come back but I just told him I didnt want to test drive any car and went back upstairs fuming.
Clearly it was a fruitless day for test drives. I’d not got through to Honda, Hyundai was not interested and now these guys had messed up.
A little later however, the sales guys messaged me. Profuse apologies. He said I should give him one more chance. He told me there was a mix up. A little later he messaged me again, saying he’d not repeat this error. The next morning he called. Apologised again and promised to come for a test drive, anytime – emphasis being on any time.
I softened. And decided to give him that second chance. Forgave my brand. And sure enough… He kept his word. Arrived 10 minutes before the appointment time.
A few days later I was signing the papers. Throughout the buying process the service was impeccable. Even when he had to go out of town unexpectedly he had put someone in charge to complete the formalities.
Did the company need my business more vs Hyundai? No way. Did they make me feel that way. Yes. Would I have forgiven a new brand that I had had no truck with earlier? Unlikely. I forgave my usual brand but I did get back more in terms of service.
And here’s what I think, I think we forgive our brands because it’s so much easier to be with the familiar. The tried. The tested. The true.
And I think that brand managers who are wrapped up in their excel sheets should understand that Customer Loyalty doesn’t come from a customer: it comes from the brand’s loyalty to the customer.
Thankfully for me, #Maruti Suzuki has got it right.