It has been clearly stated that the best way to great reputation management is to truly offer great customer service and a great experience. I couldn't agree more, and the best feeling in the world is a "organic" happy customer review. That being said, don't be afraid to ask your customers for their honest opinion of their experience with you. Here are 4 ways that you can improve your chances of receiving a rave review.
1. Practice being consistent not amazing.
In order for a customer to be willing to log onto any particular website and leave you a positive review of their experience, you do not need to provide some out of this world, amazing experience. You must be consistent, and take care of the details. As with anything it is the little things that will set you apart from any other dealer they contact or visit. We have received positive feedback for small things such as the right route on a test drive that let them feel the car properly, quick responses to concerns, and for the in-store experience being consistent with their online conversations. Every once in a while you can deliver that “home-run” experience with a customer, but if you go for consistent every time, you will come out on top more often.
2. What are you doing when the customer isn't looking?
In order for you and your dealership to deliver a consistent “great” customer experience, you have to live it all the time. Are you talking about this in meetings? Does everyone in the dealership know what your brand message is? Are all employees communicating the same messages to each customer? If you have a BDC in your store, is the BDC agent and the sales consultant when the customer is turned over on the same page? If a customer ask a question and they get a different answer from two separate employees, is that great customer service?
3. Pay attention
What are your customers saying? I have heard salespeople say before that they were afraid to call a previous customer because they knew they may have had problems with their vehicle. A customer with a problem will gladly tell you what you can do to improve. No dealership in the country has perfect customer service. You will occasionally upset someone, but the key is to learn form those mistakes and fix the process that allowed the mistake to happen. Also, take a look outside of the automotive industry. There are a lot of hotels, restaurants, and other business delivering excellent customer experiences. Learn from them and find a way to implement ideas into your business.
4. You have to CARE!
Not pretend, but actually care. It's easy in sales to get caught up chasing the commission and loose sight of who is really creating your paycheck, the customer. As Jay Baer says in his book Youtility, “If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you help someone, you create a customer for life.” If you approach each customer as an opportunity to help someone fulfill a need, or a want that they have you will have a lot of genuinely organic happy customers!