Bob's Business Tips for Spring

One of the biggest challenges is staying true to your pledge of providing the absolute best customer service in town. You’re going to get busy—really busy. It’s going to get hot. Customers are going to aggravate you. But how you and your team handle each “situation” is critical to the long-term success of your business.

Bob Clements suggests if you want to maintain your customer service edge, to keep these five things in mind as things start to heat up this spring.

Keep Every Customer Happy – As dealerships grow, it’s easy to slip into the trap of thinking that it’s OK to lose a customer here and there. But that line of thinking can yield a death blow in a short matter of time. Remember when you were a small dealership just starting out. Every customer was your most important customer. That’s how you have to think in today’s climate.

Train Your Employees – If you expect your staff to help you provide the best customer service in town, you must provide the tools and training to help them become customer service superstars. For instance, articles in this and past editions of Dealer Success Guide should be shared with staff. Have short meetings/training sessions to talk about customer service do’s and don’ts. There’s a training module at that can help you learn how to deal with upset customers. The list goes on … so take advantage of whatever you can.

Empower Employees – Once your employees are properly trained, you must give them the freedom to handle bad customer experiences. When employees are empowered to help you execute your customer service strategy, they will embrace that strategy with open arms.

Reward Performance – When your employees go above and beyond in the way of customer service, recognize and/or reward them. For example, many successful dealers will give an employee a small token of appreciation, such as a gift certificate to an area restaurant, when a customer remarks on how wonderful that employee has treated them.

Recognize That Satisfied is Not Loyal – Just because a customer is happy does not mean he will remain loyal to your dealership. Satisfaction could result from you providing the lowest price. Loyalty results when you exceed the customer’s expectations—and that only happens when you make a real connection with that customer. This is as much a relationship business as it’s ever been.