Are We Listening Or Just Going Through The Motions?Posted Dec 12, 2014
I recently had to bring my car to the dealership because the check engine light came on. Prior to bringing it in, I went to a local auto parts store to have the trouble code read. I wanted to have an idea of what was going on prior to the visit. I brought in the car and was told a part needed to be replaced. I asked why and no real explanation was given. To me, it seemed odd since this part had nothing to do with what the code said. But I left it up to the experts. Two weeks later the light came on again. This time, the service representative said another part needed to be replaced. I explained to him that I had the code read and it had nothing to do with either part he has recommended. He said no, this will fix it. He didn’t explain how or why, just that it will. Keep in mind, he was more concerned about recording my VIN number than actually looking up at me. I said I wasn’t sure this was going to solve the problem. You would think that when a customer says something like that, somebody would notice. Anyway, a second part was installed. Like clock work, two weeks later the engine light came on again. Confidence lost. I’m out of here.
Now, let’s talk about the experience at dealership number two. I talked to the service department and vented my frustration. And you know what, they listened to me! They took accurate notes, repeated back to me what my frustration was and gave me a plan on what they were going to do. Then they asked if I had any questions. They called and gave me updates on the progress. Within a day, the vehicle was correctly diagnosed and fixed. Guess who won my business?
It wasn’t that the first dealership got it wrong the first time. That happens. It was the feeling that they just didn’t care. Was anybody really listening to me? They didn’t seem that interested in helping me solve my problem. That is what bothered me most. I don’t expect perfection. I just want to know somebody is listening to me.
As a dentist, I do my best to ask what is bothering you or at least how you are feeling. I also try to repeat back what your concerns are. That helps me to understand and confirms that you’re being interpreted correctly. The human mouth is vastly more complicated than a car. If I’m not listening, there is little to no chance of a successful outcome.