There is a growing desire in the car industry to push the boundaries of customer satisfaction. We are all acutely aware that buying a car, for many customers, is not only a major financial commitment but also an emotive one.
With this in mind dealer groups and their manufacturer masters are investing heavily in training and coaching in order to really match their customer expectations. But what is great for some is not necessarily great for all.
I was reminded of this recently when in a sales managers office at Stafford Audi I looked at his wall to see it adorned with many letters of satisfaction from happy customers who felt moved enough to write in to express their gratitude at how they had been looked after. Things like this are always very satisfying for the management and give a clear indicator as to whether you have the right staff around you to deliver that kind of first class service. One thing that struck me though was the theme of some of the letters that seemed to show relief that they had been dealt with courteously and that the sales exec had actually listened to their concerns and desires. This seemed rather odd as surely that is the job of the sales exec anyway. So does that mean that customer expectations, when visiting a showroom are fairly low and experiencing basic levels of professionalism and service are seen to be reasons to actually write in?
Whilst I certainly do not want to knock any dealer who gets such a note it seems to me that there are some easy wins car dealers just to get the basics right, if these letters are anything to go by.
Understanding that all customers are different and that there should never be a one size fits all approach to them could be the answer, even though in most showrooms there are rigidly enforced sales processes in place so the management can be sure that every opportunity is being maximised.
As with any sales process though there has to be flexibility to take account of what kind of buyer is in front of you. For example, if that is someone who has bought the same car for years and knows the dealer and the model line up well it could be agreeing the deal is the only thing. On the other hand it can be someone completely new to the brand on offer and therefore a more gently qualifying approach is needed to establish what, if any, hotspots there maybe for this kind of customer. Then there is the buyer who has no emotional involvement in buying a car whatsoever, its just a practical decision and lets get the whole thing over my experience with your Audi centre in Stafford always makes my experience both pleasurable and enjoyable and are a great ambassador to the Audi brand thanks once again for amazing service Mr Nigel Turner