The Value of Good Customer Service
The Value of Good Customer Service

One of the biggest challenges facing any business is keeping in balance. In many automotive businesses, more emphasis is put on getting new business than serving existing clients. And that’s no way to succeed long term.

Next to sales functions, customer service functions are vital to overall success and must be given appropriate emphasis. By customer service, I don’t just mean vehicle service. That’s another issue altogether.

Poor customer service will cost a company as much business as will having a poor salesperson on the lot. Both can damage a company’s reputation and potential for future growth.

When businesses don’t properly serve their clients after the initial sale, the clients go elsewhere the next time they need a vehicle. And in today’s times most families have at least two cars. If you’ve helped them get involved in one, why wouldn’t you serve them well and be the person they call when they need another?

If you don’t serve them well, you can’t expect them to be loyal to you, can you? Unfortunately, when a client doesn’t make a second purchase, all too often those businesses assume they weren’t good sales in the first place - that the client moved away or has not yet made another purchase. If you had a solid follow up system in place, you’d know what was going on, and probably have made that second sale.

If the client did make a second purchase elsewhere, you’ll want to know why. Besides the question of why they left you, the other question you should be considering is where did they go? Where do customers go who don’t stay with your dealership once they’ve made a single purchase?

Many simply buy from someone else. If you had followed-up, you would have discovered that the prospective client was either waiting for contact from you, or was not happy with the first buying experience, whether it was the vehicle itself or something else. Either way, you need to know the answer.

If they bought from another dealership, they either found a product or service that they liked better or a more persuasive sales professional.

I have a philosophy to share with you. Please commit to this statement: “If I am a pro, they will buy from me unless we go out of business, or the client dies.” Commit to yourself that you are going to be so professional that they are going to invest their money with you unless you are no longer in business or the decision-maker passes on to his or her heavenly reward. That may sound extreme, but that’s the way you have to feel if you want to get the business every time.

If you have lost them to the competition, I hope you will be mature enough to say, “If I lost the business, I got beat because of skill and talent. I’m going to increase my skill level so it won’t happen again.”

There will always be those clients that you simply cannot please. I’ve had clients I've given so much service to and I know I earned the business, but for one reason or another I didn’t close. I used to blame everyone else for these failures. However, the more I look at selling, the more I realize that if you lose to the competition, it’s usually because they outperformed you. That’s when you need to set a goal to get better at this game of selling.

The last reason customers don’t buy from you is because they no longer like your line of vehicles. It’s happened every time manufacturers go through major design changes. Some clients will hate the new look and start looking at different brands. Other people who may have never thought they’d own your brand of vehicle, though, will be attracted to the new design so there’s still plenty of new business to be had.

If existing clients have a change in their needs that requires them to go with a different manufacturer because you don’t have the product they need, accept it gracefully and move on to someone else you can serve. Your attitude at a time like that can earn you future business, should their needs change or, even better, a referral or two of friends or relatives who do like your brand.

About the author

Tom Hopkins


Tom Hopkins is world renowned for teaching practical, how-to selling strategies. His training increases competence and builds confidence when it comes to qualifying, presenting and closing sales. Or, Click Here to download a free e-book titled, “6 Practical Tips for Making More Automotive Sales.”

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