3 THINGS EVERY DEALERSHIP NEEDS FOR A SOLID CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Any coach will tell you that for a team to be successful, everyone needs to be committed. Having a superstar playing for your side doesn’t automatically mean you’ll win. A well-balanced team of average players can be more successful if they execute their strategy correctly.
Putting this into the context of our dealerships, we need every department to achieve success; marketing, sales, parts and accessories, service, and F&I. Though one department may see themselves as the superstar that brings in the money, we are all so interconnected that without one, we all fail.
BUT WHERE DO WE START?
- Commit to the experience.
- Ensure strong customer service.
- Focus on the little things.
- Think about the clients needs.
Check Out Our Captain Insight!
COMMITMENT TO THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
What would our sales do if marketing didn’t invite prospects to our door? What would the service department do if sales didn’t first sell our cars? In truth, we can’t view ourselves as separate islands focused on our own little worlds. We need to look at the cyclical nature of the customer experience as their journey leads them from prospect to car-owner to car-driver. They will eventually touch every department in the dealership, and ignoring that connection we have does a disservice to everyone.
Will Harris of Rapid RTC explains that our customers are coming in for the second largest purchase of their life. We need to make it feel special. He goes on to say that a recent study in the Canadian marketplace by Brandspark indicates that the number one reason prospects choose a particular dealership is the experience they have with us.
ENSURE STRONG CUSTOMER SERVICE
At the heart of the customer journey is the underlying customer need. That need may change over time, but at the end of any interaction, our customers judge our performance on how well we achieve their goals, whether they’ve communicated those goals to us or not. Generally speaking, our other departments are focused on serving customers directly. Service fixes problems, parts gets customers everything they need, and F&I puts clients into a financial plan that works best for them. Often as the initial point of contact, our marketing and sales team fails to have this perspective.
Harris goes so far as to say that the solution to this issue may be who we hire. Looking for a good person who is willing to learn and understand the business and focus is one thing, but we can do better by bringing in people from outside the industry. These outsiders bring with them a fresh approach focused on customer service.
THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE
The little things in life can take away some of our stress and make life more enjoyable. It takes nothing to relate to our customers honestly and transparently. Even more, the things we do in sales don’t have to cost much, if anything at all. Harris’ suggestion is to learn things like your customer’s favourite song and then have the car ready with the music playing when they get it. It only takes a few minutes, but the feeling lasts forever and establishes a positive brand experience.
WHERE THEY ARE
Our clients spend the beginning of their customer journey in a fast-paced, anonymous, online world. When they finally come into the dealership, they’ve chosen our dealership to buy from. What separates us from other dealerships? Our people. The onus falls upon us to show our prospects that side.
Want help showing everyone how your dealership stands out? Ask for reviews. It’s the most valuable marketing you can achieve for free.