Customer retention is much more than just a “buzzword” in the car business today. It should be what governs your day to day decisions when handling customers and training your staff. One of my favorite authors that I like to quote in sales meetings and re-read regularly is Jeffrey Gitomer. I have carried Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless: How to Make Customers Love You, Keep Them Coming Back and Tell Everyone They Know around now for the last 10 plus years because his common sense approach to customer centered ideas are easy to implement for anyone who talks to a customer, especially anyone on your service drive. Providing excellent customer service should be common sense, then how come I am constantly reminded about the phrase “common sense in this business is just not so common.” Here are a few quick tips to help those provide exceptional customer service.
Show genuine interest
Customers like to have their concern acknowledged and want someone to have an active interest in fixing their concern. Some easy ways to accomplish this would be acting with urgency or maybe anticipating their needs.
Make it personnel
Offer a personalized greeting or use their name regularly. This is a simple and common skill that has a huge pay off...the customer may remember your name.
Never quote policy
When a customer is upset the last thing they want to hear is your policy because quite frankly I’m sure your policy is what created this upset customer. Try telling them what you can do for them and figure a way you can help with the situation.
Make a commitment and keep it
This is really important in a couple of areas. Follow up communication – If you tell someone you will call him or her with an update, you better call them ten minutes before that time. Appointment reservation – if a customer is taking the time to set an appointment you better do everything possible to follow through. For a good laugh look up Seinfeld episode rental car reservation.
Invite the customer back
Just like it says in the classic customer service training video, “The Guest.” Invite your customer back just as if your best friend was leaving your house and you wanted to watch next weeks football game with them as well. In this case your really setting the expectation to the customer that you “want” to help them next time them come in for service.
In your next training do a little role-play in these areas and watch your team become comfortable with these skills. When everyone in your organization is on the same page you win. Customer retention will soar and customers will become loyal.