I recently spent some time helping a good friend shop for a car. Now understand, I wasn’t asked because I know a lot about cars, I was asked more for moral support of having to deal with a car salesperson, I’m a little better at negotiating, definitely tend to ask more questions, and a bit more practical when it comes to wants and needs. Considering my friend has a budget and wanted to downsize as far as payments were concerned, I guess you can say I was stepping in & playing the part of the outspoken rational side.
As we went spent days going from dealership to dealership, it became very apparent to me that many in the auto industry can use some training in customer service and marketing. I understand that car sales people get a bad rap from the get go, but my recent experience confirmed for me that they’re all about the sale and are clueless when it comes to really understanding what the lifeblood of their business is.
Customer service is defined as, “the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase” and further described as, “a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction.”
A good salesperson can no doubt sell anything to anybody, but can they get the customer to come back and buy again? Unless you can get some of your customers to willingly come back, your business may not be profitable for long. When a HAPPY customer leaves your store or website, they are more likely to spread the good word and return at a later date to buy again.
I believe that the basis of good customer service is creating relationships with customers. A relationship that, “they” feel “they” would like to pursue. It’s a proven fact that people buy from those they Know, Like, & Trust.
While the following quote by Elbert Hubbard may sound cold at first, it speaks the truth.
“We make our money out of our friends. Our enemies will not do business with us.”
To get to the point of how customer service can make or break a deal, my friend found a car she was willing to purchase. She went as far as putting a down payment on the car and started the process to have her car insurance switched over. Until, everything about her customer service experience began to go sour.
- Her questions were not being answered.
- She felt they were playing games – changing rates, terms and monthly payments.
- She felt she was being perceived as an uneducated consumer.
- They hung up on her – rude and unprofessional.
- No apology after the hang up, a call back later to talk, but NO apology.
In summary, they failed to establish the “Like” and “Trust” factor and they failed to do business according to the Ten Commandments of Great Customer Service
No stranger to poor customer service, it definitely plays a HUGE part as to where and with whom I do business with. I have no problem walking away from a deal or ending a business relationship because of the manner in which I am treated. Equally true, I have no problem promoting good customer service.
Businesses must realize that customers pay their salary and without customers, they would have no business. People don’t buy products or services they buy solutions to problems. Trust me when I tell you, if you’re not the one to solve their problem satisfactorily then your competitor will.
Peace & Prosperity,
Photo credit: jm3
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