CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
You don’t have to live in a bustling city to see that people are in a hurry. Compared to even ten years ago, it seems that everyone is in a rush to get something done fast and with as little inconvenience as possible. The reality is - people have less time, which means they demand more of businesses, including your dealership.
In today’s hurried environment, it’s imperative that your staff be on their toes to not just make a good impression, but also perform their best in every opportunity afterwards. With customers making fast decisions, one of their first could be to take their business elsewhere if the level of service is not meeting their expectations. The expectations customers have for businesses to provide stellar service is growing quickly.
If you polled all of your employees, it probably wouldn’t shock you that that virtually all of them would say that they provide good service. What metrics do you have to identify what good customer service actually is? You know problems come up and that customers aren’t happy at times. When was the last time you ran a report that showed the number of return visits to your service department? How does this compare to the number of first time visitors? The answers to these two questions and others like them may give you some indicators on whether a customer is happy and your staff is providing at least acceptable customer service, as it would seem that loyal customers are generally happy with the service they received.
Providing good customer service is everyone’s job. The importance of a proficient, friendly, and caring approach from front-line employees in your dealership is more vital than ever. The manner and speed in which an email is handled, a phone call is answered, or how a customer is greeted are the first impressions that can help define good customer service. These front-line employees are the face of your dealership and need to be on top of their game with every interaction. The interactions these employees have with customers are key to the customer returning and spending more because they are treated well.
Despite being busy, people still want to hear a cheerful voice when they call your dealership. They still appreciate a birthday card from their sales consultant or favorite service advisor, and they still welcome service reminders whether they are mailed, emailed or sent by text.
If you promise a haggle-free shopping experience, make sure your staff holds true to this philosophy. If you promised not to inundate them with every e-blast, then live up to that expectation. If you promise that their vehicle will be ready at a certain time, make sure you can deliver on that. When a problem or a complaint arises, be sure that it can be resolved quickly at the lowest level of authority possible. Empowering your employees to take immediate action to satisfy a customer will not only translate to good service in the mind of the customer, but employees will feel better about themselves and the dealership when they can be the one to please the customer. It’s simple, but it goes a long way.
Sometimes all it takes is a few extra seconds to wow a customer with some kind words and a smile, an unexpected follow-up call, or even a greeting from a manager. Providing a great customer experience could be the difference between a loyal, growing customer base, or scrambling to acquire new customers. Even when we are pulled in many directions, there’s always time to do what is right. If you don’t take the time to do what is right when you are busy, you might find that you have plenty of time to do nothing.