Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Audi USA

I've been looking into buying or leasing a shiny new Audi TT Roadster. I can afford to even think about this because I am a friend or family of somebody who works for Audi. After poking around at their website the other day, I told my connection that the site really was frustrating. For example, while using the "build your car" function, I had a choice of the 2.0 turbo engine, or the 2.0 turbo "with premium package." But there is no indication anywhere about what said package contains. I could tell that it costs $3050, but that's about it.

I also tried to use the dealer locater function. I know where my local dealer is, but I couldn't recall the name. I put in my ZIP code and clicked on the search button, only to be told that no results were found. I thought that was odd, and then decided that maybe it was because the center of my ZIP code was more than ten miles (the default search radius) from the dealer. So I increased the distance and tried again. No dice. Eventually, I got up to a search radius of 400 miles. Still no results.

So after dealing with all that, I told my connection of my woes. He encouraged me to find the "Contact Us" link and pass along my comments, so I did. In the email response I got the next day, there was an apology for the problem with the dealer locater "which was damaged recently and is currently being re-established. For dealer locations, as well as any questions about current models, we suggest you contact" some 800 number.

I sat on that for a day, but this morning I had to respond. "You knew the dealer locater wasn't working, but instead of putting up a page that says 'please call the Audi Insider line', you just let it return meaningless results?"

I honestly can't understand that. I ended my response with
Every customer facing aspect of your business, whether it's your web site, your sales or service people at the dealer, or your spiffy new R8 ad, shapes the customer's perception. And perception is reality.

Which I think is pretty much the theme of this blog (excepting maybe the specific part about the R8 commercial).

I'm sure Sony hasn't figured that out, but that's another blog for another day.


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