I have, well, had, one of those Audis with the emissions issue. I was a bit cross about it initially (I mean, who wants a fibbing car?!), but their customer service and communication has been second to none. They have turned what could have be a negative into a HUGE positive, so much so I have been raving about them ever since. Actually, I filmed a video about it – click on the screenshot and you’ll be taken to Youtube!

How did Audi nail customer service?

So, what did they do? First, they kept me fully informed of the issue and how they were planning to fix it. Good move. I’m actually a pretty patient person when people keep me informed of what’s going on. Next, when the update was available, they sent me a letter telling me what I needed to do. It was clear and it as concise, and it offered a collection service. Being just under 20 miles away from my nearest garage, I didn’t think it would apply to me. But it did. They asked if I’d like the free valet and the free winter health check too when they did the update. I said yes. The man from Audi arrived when he said, he took the car away, they called me to say that it was all sorted (as they said they would) and asked me what free gift I’d like. Yep. Another freebie. And then the car was delivered back to me with all the documentation, all clean and shiny and updated. They followed up too with a call to make sure I was happy. Nice.

What can we learn?

What can we learn? Customer service trumps most issues. If the customer service I’d received from Audi had been substandard, the emissions issue could have really annoyed me – not because of the actual problem, but the inconvenience to me to sort out something that I had not caused. But it wasn’t even slightly inconvenient. More than that, they threw in a few extra things, like the valet and the car check, that made me feel special. I mean, I was pretty thrilled – anyone who lives in the countryside gets pretty excited when someone offers to clean their car for free. They kept me informed. They did what they said. Actually, they over-delivered.

Stuff goes wrong, we know this, but you’ll often find that the thing that broke isn’t the part that turns reasonable people into pretty savage beasts. It’s how they’re treated and handled. If you ‘channel’ Audi, you can turn a potentially negative situation into a positive – the customer experience, the care, the service, can change a potentially angry customer into a fan, actually, an advocate for your brand. Who wouldn’t want that?

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