Is the digital world getting in the way of great customer service?

Mark Begley
For years service and vehicle salespeople have been trained to meet and greet customers with a smile and a firm handshake welcoming them to the dealership, practice active listening and to take note of items of importance to the customer. That's easy when you have a legal pad, a pre-write or an up card to jot things down on. My question is with the proliferation of digital solutions, such as tablets, smartphones, RFID tags, Apps, etc... are these items beginning to get in the way of providing great customer service by shifting our focus away from the guest and onto these new devices or programs?
Vincent R
A good salesperson should be able to sell a lot of cars either way. I still use scratch paper, but not primarily. I think the number one rule to success is to be cool and not be an asshole. Technology just makes our jobs easier.
Mark Begley
Vincent, that's a great point. A good salesperson will always adapt to their environment. However, I was hoping to see how you feel about a salesperson or a service advisor actually holding and working on a tablet or smartphone while trying to speak with the customer. Does this help or hinder the discovery process when meeting and greeting customers for the first time?
Vincent R
Eye contact is important. One should focus more on the customer than the computer.
Mark Begley
That was my thought as well and I'm a digital geek. I'm more willing to give up my digital devices to spend some quality time speaking and listening to my customer. Thank you for your input.
Dustin Lyons
I think that tablets, smart phones etc... Are fantastic tools to help get customers in front of you, but once they are I think the focus should be on the customer not the device. I think we will get to a point when taking notes on a device is more commonplace, but I don't think we are quite there yet. I think at this point the message the customer might feel would be "this guy is more concerned with getting my information into the system than actually helping me." and the other thing that I think could come from using a tablet etc... during the sales process is that it might cause doubt as to whether the sales person knows their product, or are they using the tablet to find answers to the questions that the customer brings up. With that being said, there are definitely some places that I think these devices can be beneficial which again is in prospecting for more leads, and also to be used as a digital "evidence manual" so to speak when the sales person goes to the desk, or goes to get keys. You could have reviews, testimonials, videos etc... loaded on the device and when you go back to the desk you could hand them the tablet and tell them to watch this video. That way they are hopefully more focused on something that is building more value for them and reinforcing your sales efforts rather than talking themselves out of it or shopping another dealer on their smart phone.

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