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In my time as a manager in the automotive field, I have lived by the mantra “protect the process.” This advice has worked well, and I still very much believe that a process must be protected to create the proper culture you are looking to achieve.
The real question is, do we sometimes get caught up in our process that we forget what we are truly paid to do. Solve the problems that our prospective customer may have.
Protect the “Experience”
This does not change what we do. We still have a process to operate by. The change is in our mindset and the way we are training our staff. Are they more worried about our “process” or are we concentrated on their “experience."
Sales have been taught a long, detailed process for many years in this industry. From the greeting, to the close, we have to train and live the customer experience. Does your current process do this? Has your staff been trained to follow the process, or to use it to provide exceptional customer service?
For many years, we were taught one process for the lot, and a short process on the phone. It has grown much beyond that as our customers are reaching out via various mediums. We have lot process, CRM process including follow up, and lead response. Are these all set up with the customer experience in mind, or do we still operate with a “just get em’ in” mentality? You need to be able to adapt within your process depending on the stage of the buying cycle that your customer is in, and also based on how they want to do business.
This is not new, and the scary part is we still have many dealers operating 10-15 years behind the way their own customers are buying. Imagine spending 15-20 hours doing research online to finally picking out the perfect vehicle for you. Then you make the trip to the dealer to see it in person, only to be greeted by a salesperson that begins asking you 100 qualifying questions about what you are looking for.
Does this accomplish what we are looking for? Are you providing an experience, or just going through the motions. You need to have a short, streamlined process in place that a salesperson can adapt to based on the needs of the customer. Be prepared to confirm the information the customer has researched, and then provide them a quick, professional transaction.
This will protect your customers’ experience, and in return, protect your bottom line.