Dee Blick, Kalimex retained Chartered Marketer, explains why motor factors should focus on building a strong relationship with their customers.
Customers know they’re in demand. They can buy online or venture to the high street and pick from many stockists. So how can you ensure they choose you and keep coming back? Price and products aside, it’s down to the service your team delivers.
Here are two views of the perfect sale:
1. An efficient, trouble-free transaction
2. An opportunity for a new relationship
If you’ve received an adequate service when buying a product, there’s every chance the customer service team you dealt with took the view that the perfect sale is something that’s delivered quickly, efficiently and without frills.
- They recruit customers primarily for a single sale.
- Their customer contact is moderate.
- The purpose of any verbal or written communication is to sell hard.
It’s an approach which has limitations, especially when a customer is looking for advice and guidance, as is so often the case when buying a product to solve a problem with their vehicle. Customers are drawn to factors that embrace the idea that a sale presents an opportunity to build a relationship with the customer and that this relationship is built through great customer care.
Factors achieve this through:
- Focusing on retaining customers.
- A bias towards product benefits and delivering solutions to customer needs. Viewing the delivery of exceptional customer service as the norm.
- Rich and frequent customer contact. Making customer satisfaction the responsibility of everyone in the team.
The customer is the most important person in the company and every employee should recognise this and engage with customers accordingly. The customer is not simply a profit generating unit to be processed as efficiently as possible.
So how can your customer service team deliver substance and sizzle?
1. They must look upon themselves as the champion of the customer, charged with providing the most helpful advice and recommending products that really solve problems.
2. They shouldn’t promise a service they would be hard pushed to deliver.
3. They should focus on the benefits the business can offer; those that keep customers coming back – especially your trade customers. What service surrounds the products you sell?
4. They should connect regularly with trade customers with great offers, reminders of the benefits you provide and hot-off-the-press news about the latest products. Once a month is not overkill!
Every person in the business should wholeheartedly embrace the ‘wow’ culture, where customers are delighted with one little extra:
- One moment of real thoughtfulness
- One extra minute of time to help them
- One extra check to ensure everything’s okay
Questions to consider:
- What customer services are we delivering now?
- What could we deliver in the future?
- Does every person in our team have the ‘wow’ mentality?
- Are we marketing our ‘little extras’ to prospects so they know what’s in store when they become a new customer?