Time is money, right? Every second counts these days, and making your customers hang around the showroom floor for trivial reasons is going to get you one thing, a lost customer. Is it really about money though? The answer is most likely no? For you the salesman or woman it’s going to be about money for sure, but for the customer, it’s about the experience and the time itself in most cases. Car dealerships around the country are still resistant to change, as are many businesses, but equipping your sales and entire staff with the right tools can save your customer base and that’s a fact.
I just experienced what was almost the positive side of this at a food store recently. A brand new store opened by my home and was staffed, unlike anything I have ever experienced. Everywhere you turned, you could find help and it was really nice because I had no idea where anything was. I filled my cart with a few items and landed on the self-checkout line. A machine was available immediately and I rang up my few items. I slid a $100 bill into the machine and was owed $76 in return. The machine gave me $6 instead. First I was told that the machine had problems constantly. If the machine had problems, why was it in use? Then, they started sticking a ruler into the slot where the money came out of. Yes, they used a ruler on a brand new, state of the art machine. I stood there for fifteen minutes watching five people gather around a machine with no idea what to do. They didn’t think to help me out the door. They didn’t have a procedure in place. The technology failed and they weren’t equipped to deal with it. Not a good first experience.
Listen, technology is a wonderful thing. The self check out line was a nice addition for those running in for a few items as I did on that special day above, but without proper training and well-oiled machines, you’re just spinning your wheels. Now, think about this on the showroom floor. Do you know that you chip away at your customer’s satisfaction level every time you leave them? That’s right! Every time you leave their side to ask questions of your manager or owner or you have to print out paperwork, you lose them just a little. It may sound needy, but it’s true. Imagine messaging tools that directly link you to the manager or owner so you don’t have to leave your customer’s side. Have procedures in place so you don’t have to walk into other rooms for printed pieces, or utilize tablets for documents. Just like I was left standing there on the checkout line, you’re leaving your customers for far too long. In fact, you’re probably leaving them for roughly 20 minutes when you add it all up, and that’s enough time for them to take out their phones and research. Research is dangerous, and they don’t want to do it in front of you. Evolving is important, and it’s not as hard as is seems.
If you Equip, Evolve and Empower, you hold on to and grow your customer base at a faster rate than the other guys. Now’s your time to take action. Just think about Blockbuster Video. They did nothing to meet the needs of the public. Prices went up. Late fees went up. Videos weren’t available on Friday nights when you wanted them. Along comes Netflix and Redbox to meet the need and Blockbuster says goodnight. It’s a new day. You’ve got this!
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