Last year, WestJet pulled off an elaborate scheme whereby flight passengers met with a virtual Santa at the gate to share any Christmas wishes. Upon arrival, these passengers were beyond delighted to discover the very gifts they had just wished for circling the baggage carousel. The whole caper was filmed and edited into a story that has been viewed by over 37 million people to date. ..
Do you remember the AT&T ad slogan “Reach Out and Touch Someone” from the early 1980s? It may have been thirty years since that slogan reached its peak in popularity, but it still has a similar meaning today. Our high-paced, digitally driven world has made it even easier to stay in touch with our friends and family. A few typed words on a smartphone, or the sharing of a photo, has replaced in-person meetings. Reaching out and touching someone through phone conversations is also much rarer. Technology has changed how we communicate. ..
Starbucks recently announced plans to roll out a delivery service in some key major markets. This follows on the heels of an initiative which allows customers to place their drink orders via smartphones, so as to minimize wait times. ..
Regardless of how hard you work to ensure that your customers have an excellent experience, mistakes happen. No doubt you’ve had customers complain about something – it took too long for their vehicle to be serviced, there was a miscommunication in pricing during the sale, or a general failure to deliver on promises (big or small). Whether the complaint is relayed to the frontline employee, or the customer felt the need to go directly to management, apologies are usually made. ..
I doubt that a dealership service department exists that hasn’t had to deal with a customer claim that their vehicle was damaged while being serviced. Whether it’s a minor scratch, or something bigger, these types of claims cost dealerships money. It’s not always a customer who is trying to get a free cosmetic repair. Sometimes the customer simply did not previously notice the damage. Most dealerships have an inspection procedure in place when taking a vehicle for service. However, typically it is very basic and just involves a piece of paper on a clipboard, with a cursory walk around by the advisor. ..
A few years ago, car dealers across the nation were caught in the net of a struggling economy. Fewer sales compounded by budget conscious customers caused many car dealerships to restructure their corporate operations, reduce staff and tighten their wallets. Many dealership owners, along with their manufacturers, were faced with downsizing or total elimination. In the midst of the economic turmoil and uncertainty, customers were left wondering – What happens to me? Will the dealership close? Will I have to find a new dealer to service my vehicle? Will I lose my favorite dealership employees? Do they even care about me anymore, or is it every man for himself? ..
One of the most valuable assets you have at your dealership is your customer database. However, frequently dealers fail to effectively use this information to help achieve more specific marketing goals. While some may use their database to send marketing messages to existing and previous customers in an effort to sell another vehicle, or perhaps remind of a future service that is due, this is a very limited use. Sadly, many dealers fail to fully leverage this literal goldmine of information. ..
You don’t have to live in a bustling city to see that people are in a hurry. Compared to even ten years ago, it seems that everyone is in a rush to get something done fast and with as little inconvenience as possible. The reality is - people have less time, which means they demand more of businesses, including your dealership. ..
I’ve written many times about the value of training and professional development to employee retention. Training, in combination with a company culture designed to create engaged employees, can help make a dealership a force to be reckoned with. Employee retention has always been a pain point in the automotive industry, because many employees feel there is no job security. Until very recently, it has been up to the dealership itself to foster this environment and provide ongoing training for its staff. Mercedes, however, has decided to take matters into their own hands. ..
A recent article on Science20.com, explains how customers will be less focused on price and will emphasize the customer service experience when the economy is going well. However, when the economy softens, price becomes the motivating factor and the experience matters less. This makes sense – when times are better the customer is willing to spend more on purchasing a vehicle; or take their vehicle in for some long overdue service work. Whereas when times get tough, people naturally get thriftier with their spending. The article states that it would be wise to concentrate on making the experience of purchasing or servicing a vehicle the very best regardless if the economic times are good or bad. Not only will it yield greater revenue today, but also keep our customers returning, despite economic conditions. ..