The West to me is not just about Pulau NTU (Nanyang Technological University). Leng Kee Rd is considered West enough for me, and most recently, the Big Box, JEM and WestGate area too, but I shall leave the former till another day.
Since I can’t remember when, Leng Kee Rd has been one of my favourite roads. Lining its streets are showrooms after showrooms containing the flashiest made-from-sheet-metal wonders-on-wheels. These six-wheelers (counting the steering and spare) have never been out of my sight since young. Sitting somewhere in my home is a collection of Hot Wheels miniature cars, and not far from that are a number of remote-controlled cars parked in neat rows.
Trips to the West realised when I crossed my twenties. I would go there with friends and sometimes family, about two to three times or so a year, to enjoy the aircon (Singapore’s quite hot), savour the latest car designs, take short discussion breaks over free coffee/milo (yum), test drive and most importantly, evaluate the service standards offered by the various dealers.
My belief: It would do dealers good to treat young or young-looking visitors as potential customers, who may be the ones doing the first cut for their parents or friends. I have gotten the cold shoulder from a number, and no matter how good the car models seem, I would not want to step or bring anyone into their territory. It is said that frontline staff carry the image of the brand and have the power to shape perception. One less-than-ideal service experience is all it takes.
Cycle & Carriage
Thankfully, Mimi from Cycle & Carriage (C&C) warmly welcomed us when we stepped into the showroom about the month ago. KIA cars, including the last Cerato Forte variant, unlike the twin brothers birthed from its parent company, didn’t quite impress us. Body panels were soft, engine was weak and noisy, insulation was lacking and though C&C agents weren’t rude and dismissive, we didn’t feel welcome the past few times we visited, till Mimi entered the picture.
In this job for about five years, Mimi is knowledgeable, patient and eloquently explained the features of the Forte K3 and got us hooked. She is one of very few sales executives who demonstrate good customer service throughout the entire sales process. Meticulous, she was, and as a testament to her commitment, she stayed with us throughout the handover, which took close to three hours! My parents, to my pleasant surprise, were impressed.
C&C was our unexpected stop during this shopping journey, and now the rest is history. Trans Eurokars, you came in a close, an extremely close, second.
Before The Purchase
Do your research. Search the forums. For starters, try MyCarForum (you get a small gift for signing up and verifying your account) and for KIA, ceratofortekoup. Read reviews, dig up common service and product issues online. Importantly, find out how you can convince the sales person to give you freebies.
This post shall have only one photo, for I’m saving them for my next few posts.Till next time, goodnight! [delete; not valid Liao: Quote BIG_MOUSE to Mimi when you pass by C&C, if you want to of course.]
What’s next in this series?
- The Front
- The Rear
- The Frills
- The Drive (because test drives usually will not reveal much)
- The Cycle & Carriage Journey – You are here