In today’s retail world, it is extremely difficult to set yourself apart from the rest with products and pricing. There are too many similarities and others selling the same. But the one place you can set yourself apart is your customer service.
What does customer service mean to you? If you were to look up the definition of the term “customer service,” Wikipedia’s definition is “The provision of service to customers before, during and after the purchase.” I think most of us would buy that. It also says, “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction — that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”
What do you think? It all sounds good, doesn’t it? Service before and after, meeting expectations. Is all this going on in your dealership on a continual basis? If it is, will it be enough to define and set you all apart from the rest? How about exceeding expectations? You know — above and beyond, without compromise, customer service that just ROCKS!
People want to do business with folks they like. Take personal relationships. When developed and nurtured, they can become long lasting and rewarding. But if you don’t pay attention to the relationship and do the things that will sustain it, there will be a break-up, or the relationship won’t get started in the first place.
Same thing in the retail world: Show them you care, and they’ll care about doing business with you. Give them the impression that you don’t care, and there are always other places to go. There are others that want the business and will do what it takes to get it and keep it. You don’t want folks walking out your doors humming, “I can’t get no satisfaction …”
Where does great customer service start? At the top, the leadership in the dealership. You train and educate your team so they can accomplish their daily tasks in ways that enrich both the business and the individual team member. If they don’t know how to do their job properly, the job may be done poorly and lead to expectations not being met by all parties. Same thing with customer service.
If you don’t provide training or education programs in your dealership on how a customer should be treated, one that focuses on giving your clients an experience that exceeds expectations, then it’s probably not happening. You can be good or you can go above and beyond, do what it takes, without compromise: Make the commitment to customer service that rocks!
Mark Mooney is director, retail performance for Pied Piper Management Company LLC, a Monterey, Calif., company that works with motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers to maximize performance of dealerships. One of Pied Piper’s most popular services for the powersports industry is Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) sales mystery shopping to help turn more motorcycle shoppers into motorcycle buyers.