Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Audi goes above and beyond to help long-waiting S4 buyer

. Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Take a look at last month's U.S. sales report and you'll see that Audi has been selling more vehicles in America than ever before. In some cases however, this increased demand is outweighing the company's ability to produce and deliver their product in a acceptable time frame. Thus begins the story of Mr. DATZ, who after facing an 8-month delay for his new Audi S4, received more than he imagined to help ease the wait. More after the jump.

After learning (following a string of subsequent postponements) that his Audi Exclusive-painted ($2,500 more than standard colors) 2011 S4 would be delivered five months later than originally agreed upon at purchase, DATZ (his Audizine forum handle) decided to vent his frustration in the form of three carefully crafted letters to convey his disappointment. One letter being sent to the Chairman/CEO of Volkswagen; one to Audi's president of production; and last but not least, Johan de Nysschen, President and CEO of Audi of America. As DATZ described within his thread on the Audizine forums, here's what happened next:

"Fast forward two weeks. Sitting at work one day, my cell phone rings, number I don't recognize. Don't answer because I'm talking to my boss. Check my voicemail - "Hello Mr. DATZ, this is Johan de Nyschen [sic], President of Audi USA, calling in response to your letter regarding your S4 order. Please give me a call back, my direct office line is XXX-XXX-XXXX." Um, ok.

So I call him back thinking it's some sort of joke. He answers and immediately starts apologizing for the delays, saying there are trunk component shortages, the car is in high demand, and the situation is compounded by me ordering an Exclusive color which requires switching over the factory line blah blah blah. But, he says, these are internal Audi issues and should not cause me extensive delays; the order should have been flagged as stale much sooner and an 8 month delay is absolutely unacceptable, says he. And then he says, "I've personally spoken with the factory manager in Germany and had your built date moved up to April, so you should have your car by mid June. And, if it's acceptable to you, I'd like to locate you an S4 from our fleet which will be yours to use for free until your ordered car arrives." Yup, that'll work for me!!"

As the photo at the top of this post depicts, DATZ was provided with (in addition to getting his build date moved up) a 2011 S4 direct from Audi's press fleet. All courtesy of the president of Audi of America.

While we imagine Mr. de Nysschen will be receiving a flood of letters in the coming weeks (not all as likely to garner the same result), we can't help but be impressed. How often does a corporate CEO go out of his way to personally make things right for a customer? Most car buyers would have a harder time speaking to the president of a dealership, let alone the actual automaker.

To us, this gesture goes well above and beyond what most companies simply call "customer service." Instead, is proof of a corporate culture that the Germans call "Kundenbegeisterung," - "customer enthusiasm."

Click here to view the original thread on Audizine.

via AutoGuide