Browsing articles from "January, 2018"
Jan
16

Communication Makes Everything Easier

By Mike Gorun  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

In our fast-paced society, some of the things done just a short time ago to impress and retain customers no longer work. Today, business owners can’t always keep on top of the latest and greatest ways to keep their customers loyal.  However, there is one thing that hasn’t changed much over the years – personal interaction without expecting immediate returns: a friendship of sorts.

Communication has always been one of the keys to long-term customer satisfaction.  Without any motive to sell your services, or set up another appointment, something as simple as a follow-up phone call can have a tremendous effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Even if you fail to reach the customer, leaving a brief message could still make them feel appreciated.

Simply pick up the phone and talk to your customers. This could score more business for you in the future.  Who should be making these calls?  Ideally, the person who will be interacting with the customer in the future. While that may not always be possible, this personalized service and attention to each customer is what will impress upon them that you consider them important, value their business and care about them — even when they aren’t actively at your dealership buying a vehicle or getting it serviced.

Imagine “Jack”, one of your service advisors.  On a slow day, he takes a list of customers he previously assisted.  Away from distractions, he picks up the phone and spends just a of couple minutes on each call. About an hour later, he may have touched twenty customers, and somewhere in the mix, and without Jack’s prompting, a customer mentions that they want to schedule their next service visit.  Without even trying, Jack has new business lined up for your dealership. A little time spent cultivating his customer base today could yield significant business in the future, both from these customers and any they refer to the dealership by being happy, satisfied customers.

If you have the resources, and your employees value customer relationships, have them take a bit of time to pick up the phone and bring a smile to your customers’ faces. It’s not so much what is said on the phone, it’s simply being remembered.

It’s the personal thought that counts and it’s that personalized attention you bring to customers that will keep them coming back.

Jan
9

It’s 2018. Now What?

By Mike Gorun  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

If you work in a dealership, my bet is that you are either celebrating because you exceeded your goals, are breathing a sigh of relief that you met them, or are extremely nervous because you didn’t.

 

This time of year is generally crammed with reports, RDRs, OEM face downs and accountability. It is also the one-time that management and salespeople reverse roles, in a sense. Let me explain:

 

At the beginning of every month, each salesperson starts anew. It doesn’t matter whether the salesperson was the top salesperson of the month, or the bottom… they’ve all gone from “heroes to zeroes.” Well, as the clock struck midnight and the year changed to 2018, managers also went to zeroes – all the way up to the General Manager. A new year started, and new goals are crafted – and the dealership resets at zero in both the manufacturer’s and dealer principal’s eyes.

In the middle of all of this, some of your most important people tend to take a backseat at the dealership… your customers!

Customer follow-up post-holiday – especially end-of-year — tends to get a little less effort. While this is true at the beginning of every month (ever had that top salesperson get fat from the previous month’s paycheck and then relax a little to start the next month?), it’s even more true as the new year arrives.

Well, this is the exact time when you should be your most vigilant with customer follow-up. If your dealership killed it during your holiday sales, you would be wise to double-down on your efforts to cultivate relationships with those new sales and service customers who chose to do business with your dealership, not slack off.

Each month there is only a limited amount of time available to your salespeople and service advisors to make connections and impress these new-to-your-dealership customers. It’s not enough to simply rely on your CRM to send automated follow-up templates. You must be a little more creative and pro-active. Customers can see right through that. It’s a new year and these customers can’t be forgotten because everyone is so busy worrying about – or focusing on – the previous year.

Customer loyalty and retention is a full-time effort. It should be consistent, regardless of Holidays or time of year. It’s not enough to double-down acquisition and service recommendation upsell efforts when the month is ending, while slowing down at the beginning of the month. There’s an old saying in the car business – “If you would take a deal at the end of the month, why aren’t you taking the deal at the beginning?” This saying also applies to customer retention and loyalty. Don’t just focus on these follow-up efforts when times are slow, and business is good. You’ll never know if that next customer follow-up call ends in a new sale if you don’t make it.

Currently, at just about every dealership across the country, everybody is a zero. Don’t take your foot off the gas. Charge into the year making every second count — whether your efforts are in sales, or service.

Don’t wait for that next person to walk through the door that you weren’t expecting. Reach out to your past customers – especially those that recently purchased – and connect with them. You just may find your dealerships starts the new year with a bang.







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