Love, it’s what makes a . . .

Subaru a Subaru. Yup, I’m posting about my car. But not just about the car, but about my experience with Subaru.

At first glance, their current slogan would lead you to believe that Subaru owners love their cars.  And that’s true, speaking from experience.  But I’ve discovered that Subaru loves its customers back.

(If you’re into customer service stories with happy endings, read on. Otherwise, your time is probably better spent elsewhere.)

The 2006 Tribeca that schlepped me to work and volleyball players to lots of games!

In April, I reached 147K miles on my Subaru Tribeca.  I *loved* the car, despite it’s erratic electrical

system and gas-guzzling ways.  During a check up, it was determined that I needed $1,300 of repairs and about $400 worth of maintenance.  With owning the car outright within sight, I was inclined to invest the $1,700, although my husband was not.  We agreed that I would look for something barely used to see what my options were.

In the meantime, I contacted Subaru of America and basically said, “WTF? I was planning on running this vehicle for another 60K miles!”  They took down my information and told me they’d get back to me.

As I tormented every car dealer in the Lake Norman region, I checked out  Toyota RAV4s, Honda CRVs, and Nissan Muranos. Nothing got my motor running, so to speak.

Then I went back to my Subaru dealer (ok, I will plug them – Randy Marion Subaru) and spoke to my friendly and responsive Service Manager, Robert.  I looked at the Crosstrek (cute, but not large enough to hold Roxie in the back-back), the Forrester (a bit too utilitarian for me) and the Outback.  They had a barely used 2013 Outback that had all the bells and whistles I like (I’m a bit high maintenance when it comes to my vehicles).

My new Outback! Way better gas mileage and Roxie fits comfortably in the back-back.

We ended up working out an equitable deal. Hours after buying the Outback, I had an email exchange with Bob from Subaru America:

Bob: I’m following up on your concern about your Tribeca. Did you just buy another Subaru?

Me: Yes, why do you ask?

Bob: We are very pleased to hear that, especially since you were concerned about the repairs needed on your Tribeca.  We’d like to thank you for your loyalty by giving  you $250 toward any service from your local dealer.

What’s funny, is that the amount was irrelevant. While $250 was nice, it clearly didn’t make a dent (so to speak) in the purchase of the car. But it did accomplish quite a bit. With a mere $250 they:

  • Made me feel better about buying the newer car
  • Conveyed that they really cared about me and my specific situation
  • Showed me that they valued me as a customer
  • Got me to write this blog post 🙂

My biggest take away from this is that it doesn’t take much to make customers feel special.  I aspire to find ways to make my customers feel just as valued.  Perhaps they’ll write a blog post about it, too!

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