“Baby Boomers are the worst customers” or “Chinese make the worst clients” or “Women are the worst clients” These are all socially inappropriate, discriminatory statements that get thrown around inside any industry and the automotive industry is no different. Many of these opinions and views are formed off the back of core values people are taught as children from their parents (unfortunately the Australian Culture has accepted discriminating as the norm) and based on experiences individuals have had.
Some demographics are more challenging to work with with than others. Cultural differences and generational discrepancies make it more likely for two individuals to not see eye to eye on any given subject. Stereotyping entire people groups is not helpful at all but after twenty years in the auto industries there are groups of people that are more likely to be challenging customers.
Certain racial groups have differing expectations on time required to do a task or the monetary value of such a task. People in different occupations will have different opinions on what good value is. Genders change how we communicate with one another, and then there are the four personalities of the DISC profile to take into account.
In our experience the “problem client” is not likely to fit a demographic of one sort or another. However there are some pigeon holes that problem clients nearly always fit into. If a Male client is going to be a rude prat he will nearly always be an older gent. Most Likely a Baby Boomer. If a female client is going to start with a sour attitude and obnoxious statements she will nearly always be a Gen X, born in the eighties but not quite a millennial. This is where the term “Karen” came from. (it can’t be coincidental that an entire people group have been labeled as a “difficult client”)
Based of twenty years in the Auto industry a difficult client is always going to drive one of the following vehicles.
-BMW, Skoda, Subaru, Range Rover/ Land Rover Or VW. That’s it. Almost every irate, unreasonable or abusive client i have ever come across has owned one of those four or five vehicles.
What’s more common in the Auto industry is not the race, gender or age of a person who is being “difficult” rather the car they drive. Almost everyone working within the auto industry will have had similar experiences. Problem clients drive one of a few makes and models and all the other factors hardly seem to matter.
As to why difficult people often seem to drive the same type of cars, that’s anyone guess. It may just be down to chance. However if we reverse the thinking surrounding this it’s also truthful to state that the best clients are often owners of certain brands too.
Jeep, Honda, and Mazda owners are highly unlikely to be rude or problematic.
Is there any science behind this? No. It’s just one mans collective experience but if given a choice, I would take a Jeep owner over a VW owner every time.
Don’t hear what we are NOT Saying. We are not suggesting that every owner of these makes are bad clients. As a Range Rover specialist we get a lot of Land Rover and Range Rover owners through our stores and some of our best clients are owners of these vehicles (in fact one of my favourite clients drives a VW Golf R). All we are stating is the most challenging customers often drive one of the previous mentioned brands and some of you may find that fascinating. Do you have similar experiences? What’s your experience correlating attitude to products? Is there anything in this?