4 Elements of a Customer Centric Model

4 Elements of a Customer Centric Model

4 Elements of a Customer Centric Model

The Pattern For Success

Time and again we see it.

Two similar dealerships, but one excels, far surpassing the other. We can’t help but look at the successful dealership and ask how they did it. We all started out the same. How did they get ahead, building a new showroom, a bigger service area, even expanding to a second location?

Was it luck?
Did they build on a gold mine?

They must have a secret?

More often than not, the answer is no. It’s actually a very simple concept that makes dealerships successful. It comes down to customer centricity in both marketing and operations. You’ve heard about it. You know those old dealerships when you were a kid. They put people before profits. They keep the customer in mind in everything they do, from marketing to operations.

Simple right? Just put the customer first.

This isn’t a fake it ‘til you make it situation however. You truly need buy-in from everyone at your dealership to be successful. For you to have a spectacular December when all your competition is dealing with downturns, you need to live and breathe the customer-first mentality. You need passion that goes from the awareness stage to post-purchase stage in the buying cycle.

And when you believe it, everything else will fall in place.

So, what do you do?

Stop selling cars

Provide a service that people need. When you’re establishing your product and services, think about what people NEED. Are they going to care about the colour of the seats if they don’t want the car in the first place? One of the best ways is to create distinct audiences and market to each one separately. Though similar, truck buyers don’t need the same things as car buyers. You need to laser target and develop those audiences separately.

Customer service

It’s cliché, but the customer IS always right. Some customers can be so difficult you want to pull out your hair, but when you think of the customer first, then you can achieve their needs and wow them at every turn. When you’re focused on providing what the customer needs, then your own desires don’t get in the way. This type of thinking will help you build relationships and relationships translate into more sales at the backend for parts and service as well as repeat buyers, not to mention referrals. There are now 4 generations in the workforce. That means 4 generations of vehicle owners.

Sharing is Caring

Feedback, especially from your digital marketing, will tell you what your clients are interested in. That knowledge will help you hone your message and achieve that customer satisfaction. It’s important that this data be shared. It shouldn’t be a competition within your dealership and if you have functional silos preventing the sharing of data then success will always be out of reach.

Stop the Churn

Finding new customers is expensive. You need to lead them through the entire sales journey. It’s significantly more expensive than maintaining the ones you already have. You will obviously have natural churn as clients age, but there is a significant portion of the clients you lose that you have control over. Spending your efforts to reduce this will raise your profits. Don’t be afraid to ask why. Find out why you lost a sale so you can change the outcome the next time.

Lifetime value of a client

A consistent message from start to finish, marketing through to operations, will keep your momentum going. You want an all-in commitment to consistent customer centricity because that energy becomes contagious. You can achieve that dedication to process development and keep the marketing and operations teams working together.

The best part about a customer centric model is that everyone wins. Your clients win by getting what they want, you win by having more sales and work, and the shareholders win from increased profits. When you operate under a customer centric model, your customer satisfaction rises. The lifetime value of each client increases through new vehicle purchases and prolonged service usage.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more content.

Cheers,
Jason Harris

 

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3 ways to wow a client

3 ways to wow a client

I Love my job!

You have to admit that an unsolicited letter of reference is pretty tremendous.
Moving along in your day doing what you always do and someone comes up to you and complements your awesome job. Great work. Keep it up. Please, have this letter of reference.

It’s like a magical key that can open up so many doors.

They’re even better than reviews.

So how do you get them? What can you do every day to make it happen? It isn’t like you can fool your clients into thinking you deserve that leg up. No, you have to earn it by wowing every single person every single time.

Here are 3 things that will help you do it.

It’s not just a customer relationship

At DDS, we call those we work with our partners. Why? Because we work equally towards the goals we’ve mutually set. We set them, adjust them, and work on them as a team.

It doesn’t matter how you define the people you serve, but don’t blithely label them customers. They are your clients, your partners, your family. Call them what they are and treat them even better.

Passion

It isn’t enough to go to work and be happy any more. You need to love your job; LOVE it. Your passion not only gets you through the day, inspiring you to come up with new and innovative ways to achieve your goals, but it’s contagious so your partners will benefit from the same.

Be proactive

We could write a thousand articles about crafting and honing your marketing and operations plans and it still wouldn’t be enough. You need to think about the message you’re putting out there and craft marketing strategies as well as sales processes for everyone depending on where they are on the sales funnel. It isn’t just about calling the management team together to react to emergencies or opportunities. Have a plan and empower your people with it to proactively reach out to your audience.

The golden ticket is hard work

You already know how difficult it is to even get a review. The percentage of your clients that won’t is far higher than those who will and that’s assuming you’ve asked them. With fewer people visiting the dealership any more, it’s all too important to develop strategies and get the entire dealership team committed to your goal. When they are and that passion starts showing through, then your clients will see it.  

Only then will you have impressed them enough to earn that golden letter.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more content.

Cheers, Jason Harris  

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How To Test Your Dealership

How To Test Your Dealership

Legion of Secret Shoppers

Every business needs feedback to determine how well they’re performing. More often, we leave that up a reactionary process of asking clients after we sell to them.

But what about the people who don’t buy?

Do we know why that young couple left without speaking to anyone? Are you sure it was poor reception for that dropped call earlier?

Relying on feedback from happy clients might only get you half the story and the feedback from an unhappy client may mean a very public and messy conversation. You need a different path to understanding how well the dealership and its employees are doing.

The solution is to use mystery shoppers. Whether you do it yourself or have unconnected actors doing it, mystery shopping can give you invaluable information. Of course, we may not always be ready for that information, but if you’re doing the right things, no one ever has to worry about it.

5 ways mystery shopping can make your dealership thrive

Reduces stress for Employee reviews

Whether it happens once or twice a year, every business eventually comes around to determining how well the employees are doing. It can be an arduous process and sometimes off-putting if not handled well as employees either feel watched if you use sit-in appointments by a manager or underappreciated if they go years without recognition.

Mystery shoppers can go through the whole process without the employee knowing so you get unbiased feedback about how well an employee is doing.

Recognize the hustle of great employees

Just as you can verify what training you need, you can give kudos to employees doing a great job. With positive reinforcement, you not only recognize the good work, but you show others what to emulate.

Better training

Now that you have a process of learning how well the employees are doing, then you can begin to see where your training is needed. If you do this more frequently then you have an opportunity to make adjustments and clear up misconceptions before they become poor habits. Doing it as often as bi-weekly is a great way to gauge performance and adjust accordingly.

Better marketing

It isn’t just about how well a salesperson or service tech are doing. You can test a lot of things like your digital marketing solutions. Have a few people try to use your online marketing; website, social media, booking programs. See how user friendly every facet of your process is by having people who don’t necessarily have a good handle on technology do it. Not every client will be computer savvy, but you need a process for them all.

Increase empathy

As the saying goes, if you want to know what another person is thinking, walk a mile in their shoes. If you want to teach everyone how frustrating it can be to connect then have every person in your dealership play the mystery shopper at some point. They will get a first-person view of what does and doesn’t work.

Invaluable and comparable

Feedback for the dealership and the employees can be stressful. When people know they’re being watched, they won’t perform at their best. Conversely, if their best isn’t good enough, your dealership suffers. Mystery shopping is a great way to get that feedback, whether it’s through a telephone call, walk-in appointment, online booking, or the more obscure parts orders.

 

Remember to do it often enough that it becomes comparable feedback.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more content.

Cheers,
Jason Harris

 

Stay in touch with me

Be inspired through Jason’s Instagram

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Learn weekly from Jason’s YouTube

Get inside Jason’s head with Twitter.

Be inspired through Jason’s Instagram

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Get inside Jason’s head with Twitter.

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