The one thing that will create the most profitable opportunities to help customers buy more of our products is exactly the one thing they want the most: a great experience! When customers choose us to spend their money with, they expect a good experience. And when they encounter an unexpected great experience that is focused on them, they open up and typically spend more money. It doesn’t matter if they are buying clothing, appliances, or F&I products, the happy customer buys more!
During a recent road trip, I experienced a string of great customer experiences. It started while I was walking through an airport. Something I saw at a McDonald’s — which is not a regular choice for me — got my attention.
There were kiosks to order food; however, that was not the attention grabber. There was someone to assist you as you started your order. They then handed you a number and asked you to please be seated in their comfortable dining area and your food would be brought to you along with all the additional items you might need. Then they waited on you as in a normal sit-down restaurant, offering refills of your drink, for example. At a McDonald’s.
Differentiate yourself with an unexpected level of customer service and you will create memorable experiences and repeat customers. As Amazon founder Jeff Bezos put it, “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
Find Your Differentiator
Later that day, I visited a high-volume car dealership for the first time. I wanted to do a quick walkthrough to see all the different departments and find my way around. I must have encountered 10 or more employees, and every single one greeted me with direct eye contact, a smile, and a “Good morning” or “Welcome to our dealership.”
When I asked the nearest employee for directions to the restroom, I discovered it was on the opposite side of this large building. The staffer walked with me and showed me the way, all the while pointing out areas that might be of interest. When I returned the next morning, I was greeted with a “Welcome back!” Someone that had only seen me once before, remembered! If I lived in that area of the country I would never buy a car anywhere else, after that experience!
I learned two things on that trip: First, technology is not the differentiator. How we wrap our process around it and use our people to maximize it to create a great customer experience is! And secondly, while we may argue whether the chicken or the egg came first, I was reminded that great customer experiences always precede growth in business. Strategic marketing will get more customers in our showrooms and sales ability and technique will make us better at what we do. However, a great experience will create customer loyalty and have them leave our showroom as an advocate for us. It is doing just that in every segment of our economy and it will do it for us.
And for those of us who serve automotive dealerships — whether we are providing technology, training, products, or other tools — we should be focused on using our provisions and influence to help them raise the level of the customer experience. The result is, we all will grow our business. The customer wins and so do we!
I look forward to seeing you on my next post. Visit www.go-reahard.com to learn more about how we can help you help more customers. Also, feel free to contact me. Exchanging ideas that get results is my passion!