Feedback from smart eMotion readers
It doesn't matter whether it's a combustion engine or EQ customer, whether it's a fortwo, forfour, Crossblade or Roadster and whether it's Germany, Europe or the USA. Everyone agrees on one point and that is also by far the most frequently mentioned and the most urgent problem: The Mercedes dealers aren't motivated. Not at all.
If someone reported bad service or a lack of motivation on the subject of smart, you could ask "Mercedes dealer?" and got a "Yes of course" as an answer with a 100% hit rate. With smart centers it was different. Most of them are motivated and interested in the smart brand.
For example, without the smart center Saarbrücken (Germany) there would be no smart eMotion. It was the seller's motivation and enthusiasm for the brand that sold the car in 2012. He was very well informed and was able to answer any question my parents had. If my parents had wanted to buy a smart from the Mercedes dealership, where we have had to take the smart for service since the beginning, they would certainly have stopped them.
Why are Mercedes dealers not interested in smart?
As painful as it is to write this as a smart fan page, but: Smart is Mercedes' unloved child. Something that the customers feel in exactly the same way and that was also said in the feedback. The vast majority of smart salespeople are smart salespeople because for them it's the start of their career as a Mercedes salesperson. Accordingly, there is not much interest in dealing with smart. Other sellers are direct Mercedes sellers, who also have to sell smarties at the same time. They then like to try to persuade the customer to buy a Mercedes. This is easier for them because they are much more familiar with the Mercedes models.
I love my EQ, I did consider getting a new one after it was 3 years old. So I went to our local dealership, they were useless. They didnt know anything about Smarts in general, and advised me to look online and work out which one I wanted the come back to them... I didn't bother in the end. I kept the one I had.
All in all, not impressed, seemed like they just couldn't be bothered...
Ultimately a problem that was noticeable in the smart company from top to bottom. I was hoping things would have gotten better with the brand rebuild starting in 2020. Unfortunately, Mr Daniel Lescow has shown that this problem still exists. From June 2020 to April 2022 he was "Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing & After-Sales" and frequently quoted in press releases. But days before the world premiere of the smart #1, he switched to Maybach. For him, too, smart was obviously just a stepping stone to get further up the career ladder. There's no other way I can explain how you can just leave days before the presentation of something you've worked on for almost 2 years before. It's a shame for smart, as he seemed very competent.
So, unfortunately, it's the same on a large as on a small scale. The smart salesman who sold me a smart EQ in 2018 also changed desks at the Mercedes dealership until I ordered again in 2021. And the smart salesman I ordered from in 2021 has been gone since spring 2022. Both did not really shine with competence on the subject of smart or electromobility and were the embodiment of my reader feedback. You notice something similar when you want to bring your smart in for a service. I will never forget how the lady at the info looked very happy and was super nice, when she asked my why I'm here. As I said "smart", you saw her getting demotivated. Nowadays she knows me and already looks so pitying when I come in.
If you charge slowly, you have more range
I will probably never forget how a smart salesman once explained to me that you can get further with one battery charge if you charge it slowly beforehand. It's like with the parcel delivery man: If he quickly throws all the packages into the trunk, then of course less fits in. When he places them one by one, he can fit more in to the same space.
In contrast to that, the 5-phase DC quick charge from the 2018 smartEQfortwo was still harmless.
Of course both are wrong. The range is the same, no matter how fast it was previously charged. In addition, the 2018 smartEQfortwo had a 3-phase AC fast charger.
There are exceptions
But unfortunately far too few. Especially since committed smart employees should not be the exception, but the rule. There are a few very committed salespeople and service advisors who are passionate about the brand. Who not only know the cars inside out, but have also been there for so longare that they can draw on years or even decades of experience. Precisely because they do not switch to Mercedes at the first opportunity. The service advisor at my Mercedes car dealership is one of these, as is a salesman in Munich. Unfortunately, these are very rare at Mercedes car dealerships.
With the closure of the smart ServiceCenter and further integration into Mercedes car dealerships, this problem will become much more pronounced. It has to be adressed if you want to sell cars in the future and build customer loyalty.
It doesn't feel like there is any smart brand really, when I bought my EQ the dealer was more interested in selling Mercedes and didn't know anything about EV.
More feedback from smart eMotion readers
Of course, there is always an infinite number of things to be listed. A too short range or that the step towards electromobility was wrong was hardly mentioned. smart has apparently done some things right here. Again, the unreliable app was of course mentioned. With the smart #1, the app should certainly become more reliable and range will no longer be an issue for smart. Finally, of course, the wish for a new smart fortwo was expressed.
Again, random defects were hardly mentioned. Of course, something breaks here and there, but all in all, the brand's vehicles seem to be very robust. Which also agrees with my own experiences.
The smart brand has a lot of work to do in terms of customer service, so it must be ensured that the newly established sales network does not fail because of the same things as the old sales network. In the future, smart customers should no longer be treated as second-class Mercedes customers. Sellers and service people need to know about the brand. It has to be clearly communicated that smart is not a career springboard and smart should check that the responsible people at the Mercedes dealership know more than what a quick Google search will bring up information.
In addition, every full-time smart representative at the Mercedes dealership should have a smart as a company car. On the one hand, this promotes interest in the job and, on the other hand, he gets to know the car better in everyday life. Can give much better advice and also have a much better idea of where a customer question or problem comes from, for example. This measure costs a lot of money, but it is a very good investment in customer satisfaction and will help to establish smart as a brand.