Yesterday I wrote about a customer service experience I had recently with Track Trailers, the manufacturer of the Track T-Van Camper Trailer.
Lloyd Waldron, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Track Trailer, and I have had a lengthy telephone discussion on the company’s products, and importantly what the Track team are doing to improve its customer service.
The company fully understands the position I took in regards to its customer service in this instance, and as indicated previously I understand it cannot warranty its product inputs forever.
Whilst it would have been more beneficial to have had this discussion much earlier, and in private, I think the key take-away from my perspective is the company acknowledges short-comings it can have at times in its customer service area, but is constantly working to improve this.
They are to be congratulated for looking to improve; the care factor is there.
I am pleased the company has taken the time to respond in a professional way and this gives me every confidence to continue extolling the great virtues of the company’s product offering.
I won’t bore you with a lot of detail but not long after purchasing it the unit had a small component failure that was replaced under the manufacturer’s warranty, and it has worked well for some time, but failed again recently.
Today, the camper is out of warranty, but I was confident that given this was a component that had failed previously and replaced that the company would want to make sure it made good the item once again, after all if something fails more than once it might be pointing towards a quality control issue.
Well, the manufacturer, Track Trailer, played “hard-ball” and refused, pointing to the expiration of the warranty.
Naturally, it was disappointing, not so much because I would be out of the pocket the cost of replacing it, but because as a consumer I felt let down, after all this was the second failure. Had it been the first time I would have paid the price, acknowledging the warranty had expired and moved on.
But it wasn’t all a bad story, the company that sold the unit brand new, Alan Graham’s Caravans and RVs, and who have serviced it since new jumped to the rescue and agreed to replace the item free of charge to myself, and for which I am grateful.
Mind you, it wasn’t so much about the money, but about a company backing its own product, a product that is at the top-end of the price range and billed as perfect for the “Australian Outback”.
But coming back to my point on customer advocacy and responsibilities, not only had the manufacturer let me down in this instance, but I felt I had let down all the people whom I had recommended to take a look at this product.
If they have a similar customer service experience with the company it reflects on me and my judgement in recommending the company and its products to them.
We purchased our Track TrailerT-Van after receiving much feedback “in the field” from people travelling in one. We placed a far greater store on this feedback from other travellers when making our original purchase than the glossy advertising the company did in magazines, in the print media.
Yes, we now live in a world fast transforming, one where social media has given the consumer the ability to quickly endorse and support, or to be critical of a company or its product and services.
Companies can embrace this, be thankful for responses in kind, and to see negative feedback as an opportunity to address consumer concerns. After all, there may well be a good reason for taking a particular viewpoint or stance – but it needs to be communicated effectively and with consideration.
Smart companies learned long ago that advertising budgets, no matter how large, can only promote a product or service so far, the greatest advertisement comes from customer advocacies and that can never be bought, it can only ever be earned.
Can you relate to this, I’m sure you can!
And remember, if all else fails, pack up “The Landy” and head west into the Australian Outback…