Give your Customers the Experience they Crave
Creating a positive experience for your customers is a great way to systematically increase their loyalty—and your profit. If you haven’t already invested specific effort in this area, you might find these ideas helpful. While focusing primarily on products, pricing and advertising can lead to success, providing great customer experience will bring infinite rewards.
Customer Experience Is...?
Some people think good customer experience simply means having the right vehicles and providing quick service. While both of these are important, the total customer experience is so much more: it’s about connecting with your customers, making sure they are happy with all the time they’ve spent at your dealership and helping them leave with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
...And How Will It Help My Dealership?
Helping your customers enjoy their time at your dealership gives you several advantages. For starters, many customers happily pay more money at a dealership that treats them well. If your customers feel satisfied with their experience, you won’t have to rely solely on discounts and gimmicks to close sales.
A positive customer experience also leads to greater loyalty. If customers buy vehicles from your dealership and enjoy the experience, they have little reason to go elsewhere. Your dealership flourishes as a known and reliable commodity, while others might be unpleasant or difficult to work with.
And remember, happy customers don’t live in a bubble. Their positive experience at your dealership will likely influence other people. They might tell their friends and family, post on Facebook and Twitter or even write about your dealership on review sites, such as Yelp and Google Places.
How Can I Provide a Better Customer Experience?
Giving your customers a better experience takes commitment and often a change in culture. The process of landing a sale may need to be revisited. Many customers don’t enjoy haggling, and new technology has given them ways to eliminate that process. They will show up at your dealership armed with research from Kelley Blue Book and Carfax. Customers with this type of information tend to identify with and appreciate no-nonsense salespeople.
The increased connectivity brought by the internet also means the customer experience no longer ends when customers leave your dealership. While keeping in touch with them shows your dealership cares about their needs, relevancy is an absolute must. How a customer reacts when he gets a well-timed email with an oil change coupon will differ significantly from the way he reacts when seeing a similar email advertising the vehicle he just purchased with a monthly payment that is lower than his.
The attitudes of your salespeople also play an important role in delivering a great customer experience. Salespeople who enjoy their work project that feeling, and customers pick up on it. If you feel the morale of your salespeople isn’t as high as it could be, some simple adjustments—like offering gift cards or football tickets as incentives to top producers—might be all that’s needed.
Focus on Customer Experience
Many dealerships have taken their profits to the next level by placing a high emphasis on customer experience. They’ve made small—but significant— changes such as focusing on transparency during the purchasing process, reaching out to customers with relevant communications and keeping their salespeople upbeat. Customers who won’t disappear over slight price differences, customers who return more often and customers who happily share their great experience with others—those are results that benefit everyone.