Tesla hopes to repair its communication reputation and prepare for the accelerated level of contact, which will come hand in hand with the mass market Model 3.
Though Tesla and even its top brass communicate regularly with owners via social media, the automaker has been called out plenty of times for communication issues. This problem has seemed to escalate as of late and we can't imagine that it won't become an exponential issue as more and more people take delivery of their Model 3.
Tesla has now revamped its communication hierarchy and owners even have the option to escalate concerns directly to company execs. This all came on quickly after recent press involving a lawsuit filed against the Silicon Valley automaker by Alain Cohen. Cohen asserts that Tesla began ignoring him as he was trying to get information about fixing his vehicle. As the lawsuit surfaced, many others reported similar issues on various forums. Tesla issued the following statement in response to the recent lawsuit:
“Tesla consistently achieves the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any auto manufacturer because we do everything we can to ensure owners have the best possible experience. Our philosophy is to work closely with a customer to resolve issues if they are encountered, however, we will also strongly defend ourselves against claims that are unjust or lack merit. We have this same philosophy for every customer because we believe that all customers should be treated equally well. This is a matter of basic fairness.
All of the issues mentioned by this customer have long ago been fixed under warranty, at no expense to the customer, to the extent that repairs have been requested and are appropriate. The only exceptions are the seat, which we have been trying to install for many months, but the customer has chosen not to bring in the car to have it replaced, and the Bluetooth, which we have confirmed is operating correctly. Even though there are no remaining issues with his car, the customer has demanded a new vehicle, plus an additional cash payment. These demands are simply unreasonable.”
While Elon Musk will personally tend to issues on Twitter, and Global Vice President for Sales and Service, Jon McNeill, has been known to do so related to issues mentioned on forums, this doesn't take care of the barrage of daily communication streaming into the electric carmaker.
McNeill recently announced Tesla's new streamlined communication contacts on the Tesla Motors Club forum. For customer service, owners can call, email, or Tweet. Body shop issues need to go directly to a specific email or phone number, which links owners with a Tesla Body Shop Customer Advocate. To escalate any issue, owners must go to their MyTesla account and click Support and then Executive Escalation.
Obviously, the automaker hopes that only issues that "should" be escalated, "will" be escalated. It could be a major cause for concern if nearly every owner believes their problem deserves immediate executive attention. We shall see if this is actually a viable solution and if Tesla is able to keep this feature into the future. At this point, the fact that the company has been made well aware of the issues and is going to great lengths to correct the problem is what's most important.