Matt Prior: please stop asking «how well did we do?»


Matt Prior: please stop asking

Usually, when someone has to ask «how well are we doing?» the answer is «not very well». Matt Prior shares his thoughts

Usually, when someone has to ask «how well are we doing?» the answer is «not very well». Matt Prior shares his thoughts

The Toyota Verso has been axed in Europe. I know, you didn’t realise it was still on sale, right?

It seems that SUVs, 4x4s and other crossovers continue to decimate the once-ubiquitous ‘people carrier’ segment. Traditionally, MPVs are big, boring and dull to drive. Something, I reckoned, we wouldn’t miss too much. The kind of vehicle you’d dissuade people who like cars and driving from buying.

But the alternative is a crossover: big, boring, dull, etc – and it doesn’t even have the excuse of being spacious. Another case of being careful what you wish for.

Stop asking me about the service

‘How did we do?’ has reached peak irritation. I thought the apogee was airport security, which has a range of smiley-faced buttons on exit so you can push one that accurately reflects how pleasing, or otherwise, the experience was.

And yet the screening process is always exactly the same. The only thing that differs is how many people queuing for it were apparently unaware they were queuing for it until they reached the conveyer. So what you’re really being asked is how irritating other people are and, as we all know, other people are often very, very irritating.

But that has been surpassed with new peak feedback nonsense, via a text from my local GP, which has arrived to interfere with the deadline of this very column by asking ‘how likely I would be to recommend the surgery to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?’.

Hmm. The pass mark here is pretty low, isn’t it? If you’re so ill that you need to see a GP, I’m ‘1: extremely likely’ to recommend seeing one, even if it’s a bit of a ball-ache (pleased to report neither the cause nor case here). There’s one surgery in town and, if you’re registered to it, and if you’re ill enough to need it, how bad does it have to be that I’d be ‘5: extremely unlikely to recommend’? “Well there was a bit of a wait, Jeff. I’d let that fester until it’s an A&E case.”

Which brings me (belatedly) to cars. Over the years I’ve had work done on Autocar long-term fleet cars, usually at franchised dealers, plus my own cars and motorbikes, usually not. Recently I had some warranty work completed on a long-termer, which was all fine, but it was followed up by three emails and two phone calls asking what I thought of the service. None of which answered my question: ‘What was actually wrong with the car?’ They’re banging away to receive a score but nobody’s listening. And this stuff all takes effort. More, I wonder, than just doing the job in the first place? Please stop asking. Less asking. More doing.

Curiously, the best service I’ve had, for tyres and repairs, have been from places that don’t waste their time asking how good they were. They just get on with it. But it is, I suppose, the inevitable mission-creep of ‘what do you think?’ culture, once harmlessly inflicting local radio stations you could easily ignore but now unavoidable on several dozen occasions every single day.

I don’t know who started it and I don’t know who encourages it. But anyway, if you enjoyed this column, there will be options to like, share, subscribe and give feedback liberally dotted around this web page. For which I’m so very, very sorry.

Read more:

Alfa Romeo Giulia to be backed by upgraded aftersales service

Land Rover is top car maker in customer service survey

Undercover car shoppers: the buyers who check up on dealerships

…read more

Source:: Autocar