In today’s highly competitive service retail business market, every service type business is a commodity that can most likely be found in a similar form usually at a better price. So they say? Successfully competing in a service driven economy with thousands of channels or platforms requires laser focus and top-notch customer levels of service. Any lackluster performance opens the door for competitors to grab market share. The slice of the market pie is getting smaller, so your competition wants your slice of the market too! Yes! That means your market share!
The dealership service organizations that are succeeding today are using systems, processes, and tools to maximize productivity and deliver consistent the highest levels of quality service possible. For these dealers, and like kind service business organizations, marketing and service unite to create highly specialized customer service experiences. The one objective that takes precedent over all others is continuous improvement for the benefit of the customer.
Systems, processes, logistics and tools are rarely exciting for many but they are very effective in creating a solid business success footing and foundation. People tend to postpone doing things that are less fun and don’t have immediate results. This gives the dealership service organizations and like kind businesses that invest in the footing and foundation methodology a competitive edge. Over time, the footing and foundation lowers costs, improves service, and gives team members more time to focus on growth strategies and individualized customer care.
If you are in need of a different result! Now is a good time to start re-building that and foundation. Here are a just a few items to get you going:
Improve your transactional emails – People open transactional emails because they want to know the status of their order. This is an excellent opportunity to provide additional information about your dealerships, products, and services that will help build better relationships with your customers.
Invest in education – The more your employees know, the better they can serve your dealerships business and customers. The Internet is filled with opportunities to learn at little or no cost. Provide opportunities for your team to listen to webinars, read articles, and when appropriate, go to conferences that relate to your service industry.
Streamline best practices and processes – Review every best practice and process in your dealership, business and organization to ensure that it provides customers with the best service benefits. This requires validating every step and best practice along the way. Eliminating steps reduces time and cost for completion.
Investigate social media participation – Monitoring and responding to mentions is mandatory across all platforms. Participation is optional. Limit activity to the best platforms for connecting with your customers and prospects.
Provide more information on your website – Use your website to provide the information customers and prospects are seeking. It is inexpensive however it can be very effective.
Create a fun place to work – Employee turnover is expensive in the automotive retail industry. Ask team members for input on how to make their work environment better. Develop and implement a plan of action to improve morale and keep employees happy.
The CSI factor is all about the following: You tell me how your employees feel about where they work, and I’ll tell you what your customers are saying and feel about your dealership!
Dig deep into your customer acquisition and retention numbers – High acquisition rates can hide a mass exodus of established customers. Stop the customer attrition! This has a long term effect because the new customers tend to be less profitable than established ones. Left unchecked, costs will rise while sales drop.
Improve productivity – Look for opportunities to better use DMS and CRM systems, data, processes, and tools to reduce manual labor. The right solutions save money, improve service, and reduce boredom.
Once you get started building the footing and foundation, it becomes easier. You’ll find that team members have more time to focus on important functions because they are spending less time putting out fires.
Adapting a continuous improvement mentality encourages everyone in your dealership, business and organization to contribute to making it better. The things you do now will have a positive effect on your future.