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.

Jason Harris


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