Some parts of the automotive business are a little different in the Great White North. The industry may be more resilient in some ways, and less affected by crazy rhetoric and politics. But where it remains the same is the expectation a customer has when they purchase a vehicle. That is, the Customer eXperience.
Whether your store is in the deep south, the Bible Belt, or the densely-populated east coast states, every customer has the same expectation for a smooth, consistent experience buying a car. The process is like getting married. You date for a while, potentially keeping your options open. Once you commit to one vehicle, it’s your wedding day. But that’s a starting point, not the final destination. It’s the beginning of a relationship.
In the vehicle buying journey, you can do almost everything right. A perfect walkaround, a customer-centric needs and wants assessment, honest and transparent pricing and negotiation are the bulk of the delivery and are very necessary. But one small misstep can lead to dealer divorce down the road.
It’s the Sales to Service Handoff.
Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a vehicle sale unfold from start to finish with someone who asked for my guidance. The salesperson was doing so well. He nailed the vehicle selection and was so in tune with the buyer. There was an early introduction to the finance manager and the sales manager to really make her comfortable. The decision to buy was a no-brainer.
Even delivery day was great. They reviewed the vehicle options and set up her phone. They pulled the car out of the showroom and off she drove. Without a first service appointment. There wasn’t an introduction to the service department.
Some think it’s not a big deal, but it is. That one faux pas can be all it takes to never see that customer again, even though the CX was perfect otherwise. Here’s why.
The very simple but all-so-important service introduction absolutely has to be part of every vehicle delivery. No question. You can do 19 of 20 things perfectly in the sales process and delivery. But miss out on that one detail and your perfect score turns into an utter fail.