Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
In real estate it is location, location, location. In the retail sales world, it is perception, perception, perception. Every one of your consumers wants to have a individualize experience when doing business with your organization. I like to call it the “Disney” experience since Disney has set the benchmark in customer service. It might be a fantasy but a customer’s perception of their experience with your organization is as powerful a force as water. When a consumer’s experience is a soft rain and everything is gentle, little is done to impact your branding or reputation. Now let their experience be a rushing flood either good or bad, and their impact can be wide spread. I think most dealerships have a handle on this concept when it comes to the front of the house, but the back end seems to be allowed to slide off the experience grid.
Example: I drive 45 minutes across town to a Nissan dealership to have my car serviced. I pass by two Nissan dealerships on the way. One is as close as ten minutes from my house. With gas prices as they are, why would I make the extra journey to have my car serviced? Perception, perception, perception!!! The Nissan dealerships closest to me, I have perceived, do not care that I love my car. It is just a job to them. I am just another person with another car in the long line up of cars in their service lane.
The Nissan dealership across town treats me like I am a rockstar. I have my own service advisor who knows everything there is to know about me and my car. I have his cell number, so I can call him directly and not have to be shifted around by the receptionist. I know the technicians that have worked on my car. They have come by to say hello and sometimes even leave notes for me in my car. I just love trying to find where they hid the sticky note regarding the "free of charge french-fry under the seat removal service". Even the Porter makes my day. He always asks if I would like him to grab some lunch for me before he heads out for his lunch break. My car is always clean and the work is done with perfection before I leave the dealership. If anything….and I do mean anything is just not perfect, they make it right immediately. I even get personal phone calls reminding me to come in for service because they know I will forget about the sticker they put in my window.
As a result of having had the rockstar treatment, this dealership has been given glowing CSI surveys from me. I have even written several letters of recommendation and praise directly to the dealership management and the corporate offices. I am a loud evangelist for this organization. I have sent many of my peers and even a few strangers their way. I do so with confidence that everyone will have the “Disney” experience. The other two Nissan dealerships in town, I have little to say about.
So, does your service lane come with a red carpet or is it just another piece of oil stained real estate? Location, location, location has little value without perception, perception, perception. So, how would creating a “Disney” experience in your service lane affect back end profits? What about customer loyalty? Even if it is a fantasy, everyone wants to be treated like a rockstar.
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