Tag Archives: Business

Yes, You’ve Just Lost Me As A Customer

Harley Davidson - Roadking
Image by MichaelTyler via Flickr

Customer Service 101

I was always under the impression that Harley-Davidson Dealerships prided themselves on top notch customer service.  You know, when you buy a new Harley, you get a “Welcome to the Family” welcome pack.  Family?  Well, not exactly, at least not with my experiences recently with a prominent Southern Colorado Harley-Davidson Dealership.  The same dealership boasts in their email blast I received a few days after my experience that they were one of the top rated in the country.  Really?  Then, my only question is, Why?

Before, During and After the Sale

My experiences were never great to begin with.  I made them work for the sale, was not in a position to buy any “extras”, you know chrome, parts, add-ons, extended warranties and the like.  So yes, they got the bare minimum MSRP from from and not a dime more other than the standard dealership add-on costs.  To the sales guys, they did their work, made the sale and were good about it.  That was the only positive thing so far.

Now, I like to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone.  So I continued to go there, buying the parts and supplies necessary to perform the service on the bike.  Of course, I never had them perform the service – not when I can save anywhere from one to several hundred dollars and do it myself.  My family is full of bikers, gear heads and certified mechanics.  Good enough for me.  I guess maybe not for them.  Never were that friendly when I went to buy the oil and filters and what not.  Maybe I just don’t go there enough or spend enough money?

The Last Straw

I needed a new set of tires.  12,300+ miles on the original set of H-D Dunlops was WAY more than most get out of a set of tires.  Yes, they were very worn, and I was fully prepared to pay to get new ones.  The H-D web site listed the front tire at $119 and the rear tire at $165.  Sure I could have gone over to J&P Cycles or some other place and saved about $50 on the tires, but I figured the dealership had them, could put them on and balance them all in one package deal.

I called up and scheduled the appointment, it was for a Tuesday morning.  Was given a rough estimate of $460 for the whole deal.  I say rough so I account for about $50 above that just to be safe.  I drove to the dealership and got there just after 9:00 AM when the service tech said to be.  I went into the service department, and proceeded to watch 3 guys go past me several times without even an acknowledgment that I was standing at the counter.  I could hear some jokes being told in the office behind the counter and other conversation.  There was no “bell” or other device to indicate that “Hey, I am out here waiting.”

Finally, after about 15 minutes of shuffling, trying to be seen, knocking on the counter, coughing, clearing my throat and trying to get noticed, one of the techs sees me, for the second or third time, and tells the guy in the office, “Oh shit, there’s a guy out here.”  We finally discussed what was going to be done, and I was told I would receive a call when it was ready to be picked up.   At 5PM I finally called to find out what was going on.  8 hours is more than enough for two tires – and I was told, “Yeah, it’s ready.”

The Final Bill

A guy from work drove me up to the dealership since it was on his way home.  He hung around just to be sure I was good to go.  When I got there, again I waited for a few minutes, no big deal this time.  The service tech/sales guy (not sure which he was) takes me up front to enter in the service bill and complete the transaction.  He told me it was $574.  OUCH!  That is a far cry from $460.  So I asked to see the work order and/or itemized invoice.  That’s when I seen that there were charges for two tubes, two rim bands and a few other small items.  I asked, “Why did you put a tube and rim band on the back wheel?”  and continued to state, “It’s a solid rim, so it doesn’t need those.”

He asked me if I was sure, because he had inspected the bike and pulled the parts himself.  I told him to go back and look at the bike.  See a spoked rim needs the rim band, which helps prevent the spokes from rubbing the tube, and the tube is needed because the tire doesn’t seal with the spokes in the middle of it.  Fairly simple, right?  Not rocket science.

A few minutes later he comes back, shaking his head, “Sure enough, I guess we didn’t use those.  I thought for sure we did, I pulled it all myself and though for sure I pulled that for that bike.  May have been a different one we did.”

All total, it came to $517, $57 more than I was estimated, which I can live with.  But I wonder, if some newbie Harley rider who didn’t know their bike would have had this done, would they have even questioned it?  Sure it may have been an honest mistake on the service department.  However, after waiting and the morning fiasco, not getting called back, and then being over charged and charged for parts that were not even used, really makes me wonder.

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Overly Complicated?

It's Complicated
Image by Or Hiltch via Flickr

Is it really as complicated as you think?

Sometimes we see things from the wrong perspective.  We think they are complex, complicated and wicked to learn, use to do.  We see them as something unattainable, something that will always be either just out of reach, or a million miles away.  Sometimes we stop and think to ourselves, “That will never happen…”, or “I could never do that…”  Is it really that complex, that complicated or that wicked?  Many times they are not, and we all need to learn that about ourselves, the things we do, the thing we would like to accomplish, use or do.

I think we all sometimes just need to step back and re-evaluate how we are peering into our path.  How we perceive the obstacles on that path, and where we ultimately want that path to take us (whether it involves a turn, a new path or more).  Sometimes, we have to brave where the is no visible path – and with the right support behind us – our group of people, whether online or offline, that are our backing, the pushers pushing us to excel – we can build a path.  Our own path.

Does it need to be complicated?

Sometimes, and being a web programmer by trade I see this alot (and have even been guilty of it myself), we over complicate things.  We make them harder than it should be.  It’s nothing with our perspective or outlook, but in our natural habits.  We add steps, layers and side trails – not out of the fear of failure or other things pertaining to our paths and such, but out of a necessity to be thorough to the point of complications.

Why?  We all have off moments, and sometimes that is all it is.  A moment of clouded clarity, or no clarity at all.  Other times it’s the best we know at the time, and we just haven’t honed out skills to work, create and be lean, mean machines at what we are doing.  Finally, sometimes we just do it to see if we can – which can work against us, or for us, depending on what the outcome should be and what the outcome ends up being.

How about we make things uncomplicated?

Let’s face our fears, let’s build that new path, let’s learn about who we are, what we can do, should do and want to do.  Then, let’s get out there and do it.  No more complications from us not pushing forward, okay.  How about we try to maintain clarity – yes sometimes we just need to slow down or stop to gain that clarity – and that’s okay.  Your competitors (if your applying to a business mentality) aren’t going to get that far ahead of you if you stop or slow down to renew the clarity.  Think about it, they won’t get any farther ahead than you staying in a cloudy state for a longer period of time, now will they.  And that clarity may give your business just the edge it needs.

In our personal lives – let’s slow down and find that clarity – to interact well, live well and take more moments to cherish those around us.  Those who are helping us on our paths deserve nothing but our best in return for what they do for us.  Let’s give them that, shall we?

Why not.

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TwtPoll: Auto-DMs

There has been quite a bit of discussion on Twitter users sending auto-DMs to new followers. Some think they are great, but it seems most feel they are useless, sometimes rude and generally not okay to do. Most of the time they come in the form of: “Hey, thanks for the follow. Check out my link/blog/MLM/Scam/Whatever” and so it is understandable that it can be taken as those aforementioned thoughts and feelings.

However, I wonder, would it change if it was businesses sending the auto-DMs? Does that change perception? Some on Twitter said it would even be worse if a business, especially a large corporation, let’s say Dell or Toys-R-Us used this method. My thought process took it one step further, would it change the outlook for Twitter users IF the auto-DM contained a coupon code, discount code, rebate offer or other special offer?

That last thought changed some views, and that is why I am running this poll. Does it change the view if, let’s say hypothetically, one of Dell’s Twitter accounts sent an auto-DM with a 20% or 30% e-code or coupon code? It would be a one-time auto-DM that could really provide some great deals only offered through the auto-DM and nowhere else. Would that change the view of Twitter users? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

Take the poll and chime in your thoughts in the comments and let’s see what happens – maybe a shift in the auto-DM feelings? Maybe a shift in who uses them and how they are used?

Make It Happen


There are just so many great people creating new things, interacting in new ways and developing things that are simply amazing. You probably have a good idea of people you see that are, put simply, making it happen. Ideas, apps, content, conferences, charities, businesses and individuals all just buzzing at the speed of light it would seem.

You can watch these ideas, these people and sit in amazement. Then you can think – why didn’t I do that, why can’t I do that. Then, somehow possibly you realize – you can do what ever “that” is. It isn’t about hype, it isn’t about smoke and mirrors. It’s about being real, meeting real needs and creating positive value.

Or you could just keep sitting there, staring at the computer screen being a skeptic. Staring at the wondrous time we are in during the transformation of the web, communication and personal interaction…pointing out how it will never work, it will never change anything. You may even be able to talk to friends, colleagues or family about how it won’t work, how it’s wrong – complaining, being envious or jealous of those doing….

Maybe, just maybe, you will go and MAKE IT HAPPEN.

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Beginning Social Media – Part 7 – Wrap-Up

In this final series of the Beginning Social Media series, I wish to provide a simple wrap up of what I view social media as, what it can be and how it might be used via a simple list, much as the previous post about what can be provided by being active in social media.

  1. Social media is as much about interaction with people as it is the media shared between them
  2. While social media is exploitable for business, the relationships created are longer lasting and a stronger impression that a traditional marketing message to the masses through standard media outlets
  3. It doesn’t matter how many followers or friends you have, nor does it matter how many you follow in return etc.
  4. Number 3 above is true because it matters on the interaction you have with them
  5. When you do have the attention of your friends and followers, make what you say, type, play, share matter and be of value
  6. Understand haters are in every realm and grow a thick hide
  7. Realize even the big dogs are personable and friendly when approached in the proper way
  8. Learn from the mistakes of others, teach others not to repeat your mistakes when possible
  9. Broadcasting works in television, radio and some online media, but sometimes not so well in social media
  10. Being Genuine and yourself will get you farther than being what you are not
  11. No matter what your strategy for gaining friends, followers and building your “value” network, keep it just that, “value” network.
  12. Don’t just take value, but add and give value back

Social media is a new paradigm of user interaction, user generated content, branding (both business and personal) and opportunities to expand personally, professionally and business wise. If done properly it can propel one to the forefront and bring great results, and when done poorly it can ruin the best of people and businesses. Empowerment within social media makes people informed viewers of your message, and generally informed people can spot a fake, fraud or else wise a mile away.

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