As regular readers know, while I work in the retail side of the auto industry, I rarely allow my day job to spill over into my writing. To ensure that I remain professional at both ends, I stay away from dealership topics close to home. An interesting trend is developing though that merits comment. Consumers seem to have lost control of their emotions and are taking it out on dealership staff at an alarming rate.
Since Christmas, the dealership I work at has had at least one irate customer a day. In some stores, with some brands, this is not abnormal. In my current store though, I can honestly say we might have had 2 truly upset customers in the 12 months leading up to Santa’s arrival. Since the fat man in the red suit has left though, it’s like the fabric that holds these people together has come unglued. Two customers have truly fallen into the certifiable category, both of which very nearly required the involvement of the boys in blue.
So, like any proactive manager, I have attempted to assess what has changed. The same cars. The same staff. We have changed nothing in our methods of dealing with people. So why are our customers becoming so unmanageable?