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One click ordering. Buy it now. Same day delivery. Dash buttons where all you have to do is press a button and the item is shipped. You can even place orders through Amazon’s Alexa with a voice command.
Businesses like Amazon have grown into hugely popular industry giants because they understand what customers want and when they want it. And, for the most part, they want it NOW!
DESIGN FOR CHANGE
Our society has transitioned to a self-service customer service model. Before that, customer service was handled in a human-only model, with bank tellers, cashiers, travel agents, and other similar service positions. Now, we can do all of our banking online: pay our bills, arrange for travel, and even go grocery shopping, completing the entire transaction with no need for human assistance. The reason these self-service opportunities exist is two-fold. Firstly, it’s convenient for the customer and cost efficient for the business. Secondly, if a customer can accomplish all they need without an employee, that’s potentially one less employee on the payroll.
However, occasionally the customer cannot accomplish all they need without some assistance. Despite the desire for instant gratification and self-service convenience, occasionally most customers will encounter a roadblock which cannot be handled with digital technology. They will need the help of an actual human being.
When those occasions arise, this transfer needs to be seamless for the customer, as they will probably be short on patience and get quickly fed up. I’m sure many of you have been there – forced to endure endless phone trees, explaining the problem to several different representatives before finally getting someone who can actually help solve the problem.
Today’s consumers want help immediately and efficiently, with zero inconvenience. Anything short of that will potentially cause the customer to defect to another retailer who can quickly and conveniently help them. Who can blame them? Inconvenience is irritating.
HUMANS HAVE ADAPTED
As technology has evolved, consumers have learned that they don’t need a live person to help them, most of the time. Technology has also trained consumers to have little patience with a poor customer experience, such as excessive hold times, imperfect communication skills, and any lack of helpfulness. Today’s customers feel that the world is at their fingertips and they no longer have to do business with any specific company.
This is how the world is evolving. Knowing that, it would be a wise move to carefully examine how easy it is for customers to do business with your dealership. Responsiveness, helpfulness, and engagement are more important than ever. Make it easy and convenient for all customers to interact with your dealership. Ensure that when they need you, you are there and can help – right then, with no delay – in whatever way the customer wishes to interact with you.
Anything less than that and you may just find your customer moving on to your competition.