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Using an “Outside-In” Strategy for Customer Experience

Providing the right experience that attracts and keeps customers can be difficult.




Well, according to an article on CMSWire, we are doing it backwards. The Toyota Product System, otherwise known as “Lean Manufacturing” advocates that all improvement projects start by reversing the process.  What this means is that you don’t start with an introspective look, but start with the customer and work backwards from there towards the dealership.   


The creation of a customer experience strategy should begin by walking in the shoes of the customer.  You must go to the place and see for yourself.  (Genchi-Genbutsu - Get your boots on and observe the process).


I am pretty sure you all know what a great customer experience FEELS like. For example, consider why Amazon is so popular with shoppers. They make it easy to shop and you can get what you want fast and painlessly. They use a process of working backwards that starts by writing the press release first and then making sure they achieve that.


Disney is another great example. They invented Magic Bands  for their parks and resorts. Using the very latest in Radio Frequency (RF) technology, now guests never have to worry about losing hotel keys or venue passes. They can use these bands to enter the parks, unlock their Disney Resort hotel room and buy food and merchandise. These companies know that the better the customer experience, the more revenue generated because, quite simply, it’s easy.


Take a few minutes to consider the customer experience at your dealership. What would make the vehicle service process a smooth, easy experience that is attractive to your customers? What would make them want to return, thus increasing service revenue? Is it having loaner cars available? Perhaps a pick-up and delivery service? What about status updates on their vehicle? Easy communication channels? The best way to find out is simply to ask them!


Rather than looking at what YOU want, or what YOU think makes a great customer experience, design one by reversing this thought process and looking at it from your customers’ point of view. Then adopt technology and processes that make the whole experience less painful, more convenient and… easy.


Do that and you’ll see increased retention, customer acquisition through referrals and an increase in your average repair orders, which is exactly what you should want.

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