CBT News‘ own Jim Fitzpatrick had the opportunity to speak with Sally Whitesell, Founder and CEO of SW Service Solutions, to talk about some of the best ways your service advisors can build better relationships with their customers and gain their loyalty for good.
Dealerships today are extremely focused on customer surveys and customer experiences, and making sure customers are satisfied with their purchases and their dealership experiences; however Sally says this is still not enough to gain a customer’s loyalty. She says that loyalty is not built through satisfactory experiences but instead is built by developing a relationship with the clients. Google conducted a survey in which over 2,000 customers said that they don’t have a specific facility or location for general maintenance. With so many dealerships putting such emphasis on customer service it shows that something is missing, and proves how important it is to take the time to build those relationships with customers that result in better customer loyalty.
Now most of the time service advisors will be concerned that time is of the essence and spending so much time to talk with each customer would be a waste. However, Sally says that when you sit down and do the math, spending just 5 minutes of one-on-one time with about 10 customer daily is only 50 minutes of your day. This process will start as soon as the customer walks through the door, and once that happens Sally tells her advisors to treat it like a first date. Your goal is to make the experience so comfortable and so easy that they are not going to want to see anyone else. Spending about 7-10 minutes with the customer face-to-face leaves enough time for a complementary walk around, and during that time you focus all of your attention on the guest, and here you begin to build that relationship. Sally says, “It’s more about fixing the customer’s perception during the check-in, and we’re gonna fix the car throughout the day, and make sure that we get everything appropriately handled for them so that they are completely at ease.”
The best way to begin this relationship and to make sure that the customer is comfortable is to follow the acronym ‘RASA’. R stands for receive, and here you want to make sure that you are giving the client your complete attention. A is for appreciate, where you react and respond with facial expressions and verbal noises, giving them positive feedback to let them know you’re truly listening to what they are saying. S is for summarize, and you want to repeat back the information they share with you. This is to avoid any misunderstandings and prevent mistakes, and again emphasis that they had your full attention. Finally, A is for ask. Of course, you are going to need more information, whether or not that is diagnostics or other information, and then you are going to repeat this whole process over again. This really makes sure that you are taking in all the information possible from your customers and you get across to them that you are listening and paying attention to their wants and needs, in order to further build this relationship and ensure their loyalty.
To watch the full interview check out the video above.