Top 5 customer service factors to consider in the automotive industry
1. Get rid of ‘sales’ titles – These titles scream unhelpfulness, they tell your customers that person is simply there to sell cars to them, which is not what you want. If someone said to you “here is John he will be here to sell to you”. You would not want to listen to John and you certainly wouldn’t think he was honest and helpful, so why put the word in their job title?
- Think of how else you could explain what John does, great examples are in HR, many businesses have scrapped the term HR Manager for People Manager or Employee Experience Manager. John could be Customer Care Manager, Customer Information Guide. Anything that doesn’t imply he is simply there to sell.
2. Don’t ‘sell’ to your customers, help them – Have you been in the situation where a car sales person begins talking ‘at’ you? They begin listing the amazing advantages of their offer without coming up for air, they don’t listen as to why it would or would not be of interest to you. We all know that this is not the best approach and it makes customers even more reluctant to take up the offer because of the sales person’s sheer ignorance.
- Instead you should help your customer, ask them what their problems are, ensure that you listen. With each product or service you go through with them ensure you give them a balanced view, listing the good and bad points of everything. This will remove the prefixed idea that you are a ‘typical car sales person’ just there to make a sale and hit your targets.
3. Provide extra resources and be honest – If you don’t go out of your way to show your customer all of the information you have on your cars and more, it can come across as dishonest. By showing and not just telling them extra information you demonstrate that you care about them making the right decision for themselves. You put the power in their hands and make it feel like they are making their own decision rather than you pushing them into it.
- Show them customer reviews of your cars, car colour guides, price guides, ask them all questions about how they will use the car and ensure you fit every requirement. Digital tools on tablets can help you help you have all of this information in one easy to find place whenever you need it. There is no such thing as too much information. If you don’t have these extra resources available to show them, it’s time to start creating them. They are much more effective than talking because your customer will begin to switch off to what you are saying. They go a long way in building customer relationships.
4. Don’t be pushy – You think that by being pushy you are speeding the process up, but in fact you are slowing the process down. Buying a car is a big purchase and not one to be rushed, by pushing your customers to make decisions you make them panic and backtrack. They may be close to making a final decision but are worried about the finances. If you push them too quickly they will go for the easy route and think ‘forget it’ I can’t really afford the car anyway. In actual fact, they probably could afford the car but without having time to properly calculate and work out their finances it means they think they can’t.
- Try not to keep asking when they will make their decision by, instead try to gauge the answer for yourself. Ask them questions like “Is there anything making you doubt your decision?” “How soon are you looking to buy” “Are you normally quite good at making decisions on big purchases like this?” This will enable you to assess how quickly or slowly they are likely to make the purchase without you seeming pushy and desperate to find out a date.
5. Talk in simple language – If you can tell that your customer is nervous, unfamiliar with cars, or not forthcoming in what they are looking for it is your job to make them feel at ease. Don’t use technical language that they won’t understand this will only put them off as they won’t have enough information about the car and will be too embarrassed to ask for clarification. Talk to them in a way that they may understand, check they have understood everything before you move on.