Level 26, HSBC Building 188 Quay Street Auckland Central (No postal delivery to this address)

The CX disaster of disconnected systems


I had an amusing experience recently that demonstrated how poor and disconnected systems can lead to a horrible CX (Customer Experience).

I went to the contact web page of a large European car dealership, who have amazing premises and fantastic in-person service, looking for their phone number to book a service. On the page I spotted their enquiry form; that looked quick and simple. Just select Enquiry Type: “Service”, auto-complete my details and let them know what I want. Been there before so I knew they could find my car details by license plate. Hit “Submit” and waited …and waited.

Hmmm. Might as well message the helpful looking chat assistant hovering to the right. This is how it went:

Guest (10/13/22 15:05:23 pm): It’s disappointing that your Enquire Now form doesn’t work; I just wrote a whole description of the service work I want done only to have it bring up a progress indicator that has been sitting there for 5 minutes and I don’t think it is going to submit; I can’t even copy-paste what I wrote because screen is inactive whilst progress indicator up.

Jessica (10/13/22 15:07:55 pm): I would be happy to assist you with that! I apologise for the inconvenience.  My apologies, I will need to have my team confirm your service inquiry for you.   Just to address you better, may I have your name please?

Guest (10/13/22 15:09:47 pm): John Jones, vehicle is PAT230. I’m trying to book a full service for Friday 4 November…{further detail}

Jessica (10/13/22 15:10:03 pm): Thanks, John and noted. We are terribly sorry for this inconvenience, but I would be more than happy to have a manager contact you directly about your situation to have it resolved. Would you prefer an email or phone call?

Guest (10/13/22 15:11:03 pm): I don’t have a situation; your website has a situation which someone may want to check out internally. All I’m after is a booking if someone could just make that and confirm by email.

Jessica (10/13/22 15:12:16 pm): I will be happy to assist you with your request. May I please have your preferred location, day and time to begin?

Guest (10/13/22 15:13:13 pm): I’m on the website contact page for Continental BMW Wairau Rd, {where the chatbot was} so that is the location and the day is the day I already asked for. As far as time goes I can drop off around 9am.

Jessica (10/13/22 15:14:05 pm): I’ll take note of that, thank you.  Thank you, may I have your phone number in case we get disconnected?

Guest (10/13/22 15:15:17 pm): 0211601237 – Same details as you already have in your system under my license plate, which is why I supplied that.

Jessica (10/13/22 15:16:11 pm): Great, just to complete this request, may I please have your email address as an alternate contact?

Guest (10/13/22 15:17:04 pm): {email address} – sorry, forgot to add that again, was in the form that didn’t work.

Jessica (10/13/22 15:18:05 pm): Thank you, I will have our service team follow up with you as soon as possible regarding details on full service and worn bush for your Plate#PAT230. Again, I apologise for the website inconvenience. Is there anything else I can assist you with today, John?

“Absolutely not!!”, I thought. Later that day I got the following confirmation TXT:

Hi John, the X5(PAT230) booked Service / Repair 5/11/2022…{further details}

Arrgh, wrong date!  So I rang and as they explained what had gone wrong it became clear how the whole process worked. The Chat service just emails the dealership; clearly the chat assistants are external and don’t have access to the dealership’s vehicle and client system, nor even which web page the customer is coming from if my experience is anything to go by. The person who received the email from the Chat service had entered it correctly in the dealership’s booking system but the TXT was not auto-generated from the booking system, they had to enter key parts of that into another system, and that is where they’d entered the wrong date.

There’s not much I need to explain about this experience; self-evidently the underinvestment in connecting disparate systems, combined with the use of an external chat service that doesn’t reflect their brand quality, resulted in a dealership that clearly prides itself on excellent customer service providing a very poor digital customer service.

I guess most of their customers just aren’t silly enough to attempt to use their tech; I mean, I do know better, this is all too common when dealing with traditional businesses.

Here’s a thought though; how many lost new car enquiries would it take to have cost the business more than the cost of funding better systems?