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Ford allegedly bans customer for negative survey responses

Ford seems to have taken the customer survey to an all-new extreme: banning a customer for leaving negative feedback. Is this a new trend?

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Careful speaking ill of this Ford dealership

Customers hope that a car manufacturer demands nothing less than the best from their product. Safety and quality should be paramount for something you risk your life using every day. Customer do not expect, however, this same “perfection” from a survey.

Ford is unfortunately unfamiliar with how a customer survey is supposed to work. Normally, you take a survey, give your honest responses, and it is supposed to help praise those doing excellent work, or help in those areas needing improvement.

Shopper “no longer welcome” at dealership

This is not the case with a survey from Ford. The Consumerist reported receiving an email from a reader stating he was “no longer welcome” at that dealership, due to his survey responses. Seriously.

The reader, Robert, stated he submitted an honest survey after a bad experience buying a Ford truck. He explained in the comments the bad rating was due to a salesman’s poor people skills. After contacting the dealership for another potential purchase a year later, he received an email stating: “Since that survey actually cost myself and the dealership money from Ford, I will have to personally pass on your offer. I’ll go brush up on my people skills and I hope you find what you’re looking for in the future.”

Granted, in this world, there are always going to be customers who are unhappy, regardless of what you do and this should not penalize the employee. However, on the other hand, when you experience poor customer service, you should be able to let (in this case) the dealership and the company know what happened. Obviously in this case, the salesman was not fired, but rather than attempt to show he had improved his skills and was ready to try and help this customer again, he sends a snarky email back.

Some things are beyond the pale

I think this is ridiculous. You have to know, especially in sales, some customers are going to be difficult, unpleasant, and not happy with anything you do for them. Rather than squash the relationship, this salesman should have forwarded the email to his manager, stating the customer couldn’t have been too unhappy if he’s willing to come back along with a message to the customer stating he’d be happy to try this again. Selling a $40,000 truck seems a lot more lucrative than a snarky email.

With all the tools on the market to improve customer retention, it seems beyond ridiculous that Ford decided to ban this customer’s business. While we do not have all the facts, perhaps a different sales associate could have handled his case, one with excellent people skills; then, if the customer was still displeased, I could understand asking them to take their business elsewhere.

I cannot imagine how you learn about where your business is falling short without reviews. Blocking malicious, profanity-ridden review, I understand, but feedback on a survey card seems a bit much. Which begs the question: would you ban a customer who left a negative review?

What does this say about customer service on the whole, though? Are people purposefully leaving poor reviews as a form of revenge? If so, what measures should be in place to ensure the employee isn’t penalized for a disgruntled customer?

#BadReviews

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tina Merritt

    October 6, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I think car dealerships are the worst when t comes to these surveys! A few years ago, my husband and I had a very poor experience at a Jeep dealership. From the day we left with our new vehicle, we were harassed by the dealership telling us to be sure to “give them a 5 star rating” when we received our survey. We did not give them a 5 star rating and they were none too pleased about it. They didn’t seem to care about our experience, just that we didn’t give them the 5 stars. Needless to say, we didn’t even bring the vehicle back to that dealership for maintenance, for real of retaliation. Perhaps it’s the home office bullying the dealerships to get these ratings and in return, the dealerships bully the consumers?

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How remote work has changed over the last decade

(BUSINESS NEWS) let’s reflect on how remote working and telecommuting has changed in recent years and look to how it will continue to change in the 2020s.

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As someone who often works remote, it’s interesting to see how much that means for work has evolved. The increase in commonality has been steady, and shows no signs of slowing down. Go Remotely has developed an insightful graphic showing the changes in trends regarding remote work over the years.

“For decades, the established economy dictated that you should pick one job, visit the same office for the next 40 years, and then retire,” reads the graphic’s intro. “However, recent remote working stats suggest the working world might be in for some revolutionary changes.”

From there, the graphic is broken down into five facets: Flexible Workspace Policy, Entrepreneurial Minds, Telecommuting is a Growing Trend, The Role of Companies in the Remote Working World, and The Future of Telecommuting.

With Flexible Workspace Policy, its suggested that telecommuting could be a solution for costly issues including lack of productivity caused by employee distractions, health problems, etc. It is said that employers lose $1.8 trillion annually due to these issues.

The end of 2018 found 35 percent of the US workforce working remotely. This is only expected to climb. Ten percent of employees don’t know if their company offers flexible work policies (this is something to check into!)

Bills and laws for virtual jobs passed by governments reflect the need for accessibility, economic stability, and emigration concerns. Companies with flexible work policies have reported seeing increases in productivity and profits. (Funny those both start with pro, no?)

With Entrepreneurial Minds, a few interesting things found include: remote workers are less likely to take off if they are sick, the majority reports better productivity when working alone, the majority reported lower stress levels. However, there is a problem with not being able to unplug after work which is an issue for some.

Telecommuting is a Growing Trend finds that there has been a seven percent increase between 2012 and 2016, with the majority (80-100 percent) reporting they work remotely. Industries seen embracing remote work include: transportation, computer/information systems/mathematical, arts/design/entertainment/sports/media, finance/insurance/real estate, law or public policy, community/social services, science/engineering/architecture, manufacturing or construction, healthcare, education/training/library, and retail.

The Role of Companies in the Remote Working World finds that the pros to hiring remote workers includes: finding talent outside of your geographic area, improves retention on work/life balance, increases productivity by decreasing commute time, and saves money by requiring less office space. The cons include lack of timeliness when it comes to receiving information from employers.

Finally, the Future of Telecommuting suggests that in 2020 the US mobile worker population will surpass 105 million (and will account for 72 percent of the US workforce). Hiring managers predict that telecommuting will increase tremendously, most skills will become even more niche over the next decade, and many think that 38 percent of their full-time workers will be working remotely in the next decade.

How do you feel about the increase in remote working and telecommuting?

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Business News

ClickUp team productivity app is gorgeous and wildly efficient

(BUSINESS NEWS) Seeking to improve your productivity and speed up your team, ClickUp is an inexpensive option for those obsessed with efficiency.

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Back again to obsess over productivity apps – ClickUp, is a project management tool seeking to knock the frustration out of PM. It’s getting some good reviews, so I gave it a try for a week by setting up my current job search as a project and getting a feel for the app. And as you’ve read in my other reviews, we will address features and design.

On the feature front, ClickUp offers a pretty standard set up of tools for a productivity app. What stands out first and foremost are the status options. In general, most productivity statuses are simple: not started, started, in progress, done, etc.

But ClickUp lets you set up custom statuses that match your workflow.

For example, if you’re doing instructional design projects, you may assign projects based on where they are flowing in an ADDIE model, or if you are a Realtor, you may have things cataloged by sold, in negotiation, etc.

Customization is king and custom status is the closest you get to building your own app. And if you like it simple, you don’t have to customize it. The assigned comments feature lets you follow up on specific comments that originate action items – which is useful in team collaborations.

You can also assign changes to multiple tasks at once, including changing statuses (I would bulk assign completion tasks when I finished applications that I did in batches). There a lot of features here, but the best feature is how the app allows you to toggle on and off features that you will or won’t use – once again, customization is front and center for this platform.

In terms of design and intuive use, ClickUp nailed it.

It’s super easy to use, and the concept of space is pretty standard in design thinking. If your organization uses Agile methodology, this app is ready for you.

In terms of view, you can declutter the features, but the three viewing modes (list, box, and board) can help you filter the information and make decisions quickly depending on what role you have on a board or project. There is also a “Me” board that removes all the clutter and focuses on your tasks – a great way to do focused productivity bursts. ClickUp describes itself as beautifully intuitive, and I can’t disagree – both the web app and mobile app are insanely easy to use.

No complaints here.

And the horizon looks good for ClickUp – with new features like image markup, Gannt charts (!!!!!! #nerdalert), and threaded comments for starts.

This application is great, and it’s got a lot of growth coming up to an already rich feature base. It’s free with 100MB of storage, but the $5 fee for team member per month that includes team onboarding and set up (say you’re switching from another platform) and Dropbox/Google Docs integration? That’s a bargain, Charlie.

ClickUp is on the way up and it’s got it all – features, a beautifully accessible UI, relentless customization, and lot of new and upcoming features. If you’re into the productivity platform and you’re looking for a new solution for your team, go check it out.

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Business News

Should you alter your business travel due to the Coronavirus?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Got a business trip coming up? Worried about the coronavirus spoiling those plans? Stay up to date and safe with this cool site!

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The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at John Hopkins University has created a website that tracks one of the biggest trends of 2020: the coronavirus. Also known as 2019-nCoV, this disease has already spread to over 40,000 confirmed cases worldwide, with over 900 deaths (as of when this article was published, anyway.)

Not to mention, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that we still don’t know exactly how the virus spreads from person-to-person. In fact, there’s quite a bit we don’t know about this disease and although some people are reported as recovered, it’s only a small fraction compared to how many are sick.

So, what’s so great about this tracker? Well, first of all, it updates in real time, making it easy to keep track of everything we know about confirmed cases of the coronavirus. It’s chock full of statistics and visuals, making the information easy to digest. Plus, with a map front and center, it lets you know exactly where there have been reported outbreaks – and how many people have been diagnosed.

Because the site sticks to cold hard facts like statistics and maps, it also means you can avoid the racism and general panic that’s accompanied news of this outbreak.

This is a great tool for staying informed, but it’s also extremely helpful if you’re going to be traveling for work. As the virus continues to progress, you’ll be able to see just how many cases of coronavirus there are in the areas you’re planning to visit, which will allow you to plan accordingly. Even if you don’t feel the effects, you can still risk passing it to other people.

(In fact, the CDC recommends those traveling from certain areas in China practice “social distancing” when they return to the US, avoiding public spaces like grocery stores, malls and movie theaters.)

Of course, if you have something planned several months from now, don’t cancel your conference plans just yet. A lot can happen in that amount of time, so avoid the urge to check the website every couple hours. It’s supposed to be a tool for staying informed, not staying stressed out.

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