img_02221I’m in a very dysfunctional relationship right now – with Saturn.

Today I got my email survey from Saturn. I’ve been waiting for it. As some of you may know, I was a crazy loyal Saturn owner. I’ve owned 5 Saturns over a 15 year period. I included my Saturn story in my first book. I have the mug, bumper sticker, key chain, license plate holder (I heart my Saturn).

But lately, they have disappointed me. Big time.

I blogged about the faux pas of the XM radio and their second survey trying to get a high rating from me. I also threatened to leave them. But I can’t. I’m still trying.

I found out last week that the Smithtown Saturn no longer washes my car when I get service and forgot to torque my oil filter down (or so the wonderful people at Springfield, Mass Saturn told me) so my brand new VUE breaks down on a road trip. Oh yes….it’s bad.

But I’m rooting for Saturn. I know GM has to cut costs to placate the government and Saturn is on the block. Only the dealers can save this brand and I sincerely hope they do. BUT, they have to remember what made us so loyal. It’s not the car, it’s the experience buying and servicing the car. It’s yours to lose dealers.

According to Fred Reichheld, author of the Ultimate Question, loyal customers will do three things:

1. Buy more from you (check – bought five).
2. Market for you (check – included you in my book).
3. Tell you how to improve your business – I’m ready.

Page one of the online survey – language selection. okay. English.

First Question: How satisfied are you that your vehicle was fixed right on this service visit? Completely? Very? Satisfied? Somewhat? Not at all?

WHAT? You forgot to torque down my oil filter and all the oil slowly drained from my car causing my engine to sound like a jack hammer was under the hood as I pulled into a client’s driveway 180 miles from home!!!!!

15 questions later, similar in their delivery.

“How would you rate the lighting in the waiting room?”
Not too bright. Just bright enough. Satisfactorily bright. Not bright enough.

They NEVER gave me an opportunity to tell them what happened and why I can’t give them the highest rating that they are used to.

This is why I love the ultimate question:

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend Saturn to a friend, family member or colleague?

And then the golden question: WHY did you answer the way you did?

Two questions. No bullshit.

If they had only asked me those two questions, they would KNOW why my loyalty is waning and they could respond to me and close the loop – solidifying my continued love which they so desperately need in order to stay alive!!

And here’s what Saturn needs to know. I would probably give them an 8. A passive score. Because I felt that we had a relationship. I have time invested in this relationship and I want to continue, but ONLY if they care enough to listen to me!