Last Friday I became the proud owner of a Hyundai ix35, which was very exciting; and I am absolutely LOVING the car. I therefore cannot fault Hyundai on their product and I want to make it abundantly clear that my unfortunate journey has nothing to do with their product but rather to do with their service and the customer experience I had with them.

In a nutshell I waited 9 months for my new car, which Hyundai’s sales person initially said would take 4 to 6 months. But it’s not even the long wait I minded because I know this is a new model in huge demand fully imported from Korea. What I minded from the start was Hyundai’s nonchalant attitude to the deal, their appalling communication skills and their inability to take any kind of initiative around making the whole experience pleasant, joyful, exciting or even easy for me.

I find this behaviour extraordinary considering we live in competitive times in terms of the market economy, made worse by the fact that we have just come out of or are just about to come out of a recession. Extraordinary also considering we are supposed to live in a connection economy (i.e. sales people have to work harder at building relationships with customers) because customers are no longer innately loyal because of all the choice we have etc. You would think this would lead to a service orientated stance on any deal, let alone one worth R300 000.00. But alas Hyundai don’t appear to know any of this.


From the start I felt they couldn’t really care whether I bought one of their products or not. I can understand that with this particular model they don’t really have to ‘sell’ because demand currently out-weighs supply, but can they not see that their attitude ultimately taints the entire brand? Increasingly as I got more panicked about the fact that they had nearly R300 000.00 of my money and had not produced the goods, I got the feelings that their attitude shifted from indifference to almost irritation.

Whilst I have received phone calls subsequent to taking ownership of the car from various Hyundai employees, the conversation has always been around whether or not I am enjoying the car and not once investigating what experience I had purchasing it, which is what they really should be asking of they want to improve.

Maybe they think their products will continue to carry them through this increasingly complex economy and that they don’t have to do what every other industry in the world is doing and that is focus on what differentiates them and gives them the competitive edge in order to stay a float?

TomorrowToday Global