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“The customer is always right” has been the trademark phrase used by businesses in the United States for decades. By and large, most reputable businesses believe this philosophy to some degree, and put policies and procedures in place to make sure that their customers are treated fairly and effectively when concerns arrive.
As customers become more educated about a product or a service before they purchase, the key to securing the sale and a longtime customer may just be exemplifying higher levels of customer service than your nearest competitor. In the automotive industry, with competitor information, inventory details, and prices a few keystrokes apart, one of the only distinguishing characteristics between Bob’s Dealership and Bill’s Dealership could be the way the customer is treated from the very first interaction.
A recent article in DestinationCRM.com, explains how those companies that empower employees to make an instant and visual difference to the customer, separate themselves from the reactionary and routine customer service of today, where face-to-face contact has becomes less common.
At your dealership, have you empowered your front line employees to make decisions to ensure an award-winning customer service experience every time? Are you hiring the best-of-the best employees that have customer-driven mentalities?
Some employees may mean well, and have the desire to help customers, but their personalities perhaps don’t make for the ideal representation of your brand or dealership. Do your employees want to work for you and personify your company? Do they want to make a difference, especially when it comes to providing the outstanding customer service levels that are needed in today’s dealerships?
Employees that work hard to treat their customers well, that endeavor to wear a welcoming smile and make a difference, are the ones that will make a difference. If each employee was trained to think “what can I do to make a difference for at least one person today?” your dealership would be the talk of the town. It should be a pleasure to help the customer. Consider training every employee and empowering them with the ability to make every customer happy, each and every time they visit, call or contact your dealership online.
Bringing all your employees into a mindset that every customer should be assisted promptly, efficiently, and to the customer’s level of satisfaction, will yield long-term relationships. But will it make your dealership and employees truly stand out above the crowd?
According to the article, empowering your employees to deliver transactional decision-making all the way down the customer-facing chain is a must. Imagine your receptionist, a lot attendant, or a part-time cashier approaching a customer and offering a complimentary bottle of water or cup of coffee. Perhaps that same employee meets and greets a prospective customer and personally introduces them to a sales consultant or a manager.
In another situation, the cashier freely adjusts an invoice for a customer when they point out a maintenance special that is displayed on the dealership website. No manager involvement is necessary, and the customer isn’t inconvenienced by a delay for this approval.
You don’t have to take a page out of Nordstrom’s storybook and issue a fifty-dollar refund when the customer comes in to get a new tire. However, consider the simple steps above. Implement a more proactive approach to high-level customer service and it could well pay dividends in increased sales and service business and fiercely loyal customers!