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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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JD Rucker

JD Rucker Founder

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Any Customer Complaint Can Go Viral

Customer Complaint

We all know it's impossible to make every customer happy. There are often confusions in the automotive industry that consumers simply do not understand. They can do unreasonable things to try to get back at the dealership when they perceive that they were not treated properly.

This was a challenge a decade ago and before when word-of-mouth was arguably the most important factor in the success of a dealership. Today, that word-of-mouth has turned into "word-of-mouse" and simple things can be made explosive very quickly.

The image above (which has been removed) is one of those examples. It went popular on a social media site and a single version of it has now been viewed by nearly half-a-million people. It has spread to other venues and will likely break a million soon if it hasn't already.

These things get worse on the local level when those in the area of the dealership see it through social media and then spread it through their own channels. Competitors can get a hold of it and take advantage of it. Things like this can go from ugly to truly detrimental to business in a hurry.

The moral of the story - try to cut things off before they get to this level. It was the intention of the person who bought the vehicle to let as many local people as possible know of their opinions. They basically vandalized their own vehicle in an effort to harm the dealership that sold it to them. The person who took the picture was likely someone who simply thought it was funny and decided to spread the word. It hit hard on social media and will continue to do so for a long time. This image will appear and reappear on various social media sites for months, possibly even years.

It's not possible to make every customer happy, but try not to let it get to this point. Sometimes, it's better to take a big hit now rather than a crippling hit later.

Chris Costner
It brings everything back to who really owns your brand these days. Perception is everything and our clients are what can make or break our business. If there are complaints or problems that need to be addressed, tackle them head on without hesitation. Ignoring them will not make them go away. Thanks for sharing JD.
Jim Radogna
Great post JD! In addition to devastating reputation damage, many lawsuits occur as a result of dealerships failing to address customer complaints when they first come up. Plaintiffs' attorneys are very successful at making a mountain out of a molehill. Simple complaints have ended up as multi-million dollar class action lawsuits.

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