ADM serves Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing Pros and Internet Sales Managers
In his book Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless, Jeffrey Gitomer poses the question, “If customer satisfaction is at an all-time high, why is customer loyalty at an all-time low?” In the car business we see that play out every day. CSI scores are at record highs but customer loyalty continues to fall and long-time customers buy elsewhere.
This continues to occur because dealerships and salespeople fail to stand out; to separate themselves from their competition. If a customer does not perceive that you have things to offer, both during and after the sale, that they cannot get at your competition, they will have no reason to become or remain loyal to you or your dealership.
Here are a few suggestions for you to consider on how you can set yourself apart from the competition and make yourself more memorable for your customers:
Give friendly service
OK, I know that sounds like a pretty generic platitude but it all really does start with your attitude. Thing about where you love to shop. I’ll bet that it is at least partially due to their friendly service. How does your attitude measure up to theirs?
Make sure live people answer your phones
Everyone hates automated phone systems no matter how efficient they are supposed to be. Customers call you for one reason – they want help with something. Computers can’t do that and it frustrates them. Think about how you feel when you get an automated answering device. Is that how you want your customers to feel when they call you?
Give the best service EVER
Customers don’t always want to buy more of your product. Sometimes they just need answers. Don’t treat them as any less important than someone who wants to buy today. If you make them feel important and valuable, you are on the path to making them loyal.
Don’t wait until the customer calls you to find out if they are happy. Don’t depend on your dealership’s or manufacturer’s customer satisfaction surveys. That’s what an average dealer or salesperson would do. Go beyond the normal follow up calls. Call them when their first service is due; call them when your service department has specials they might be interested in. Call them with tips about things you know they like. Make yourself memorable by doing things others don’t.
During the sales process, you learned about the customer’s job and his or her hobbies and interests. Don’t limit your contacts with your customer to just things about you or your dealership. You’ll get a lot farther in creating loyalty if you talk to them about them. Call to congratulate them on promotions, share news about their industry or favorite hobby and, the grand slam of creating loyalty, with leads of people that they can do business with.
The key to creating loyalty with your customer rests in your ability to be unique. If you can demonstrate that you can provide value that they cannot get anywhere else, they will continue to buy from you and you will be able to make higher gross profits. Remember this phrase – Be unusual where usual is expected – and see how you can apply it to your career. Do so and you will be awarded with more customers who are satisfied AND loyal.