- April 25, 2019
- By Steve Baker
- In Training
With the current climate of uncertainty in the UK motor retail industry it is all too easy to focus all your efforts on unit profit for today, sometimes to the detriment of medium- and long-term profitability. Highly satisfied customers are undoubtedly the biggest driver of customer retention and recommendation. So, if long term profitability and growth is to be achieved, it is vital to ensure that your customers receive a fantastic experience during their vehicle purchase, but also throughout their entire ownership of the car.
How do you improve customer retention?
Driving customer retention requires a clear strategy that engages all departments and colleagues within the dealership on a common goal. Do all colleagues in your business work towards a common, customer-focused, goal? In a dealership environment, customers are often compartmentalised as being either Sales or Aftersales customers and the sales process is often seen as finishing with the handover of the customer’s new car. Why? The handover is actually the starting point for customer retention. How you manage the customer relationship from this point on will determine the future growth of your business. The most successful businesses in motor retail have fully embraced this philosophy by breaking down the departmental barriers and delivering a ‘customer experience’ that spans the whole customer ownership cycle.
Going back to basics
The common denominator of the most successful dealers is that they are consistently brilliant at the basics. They have recognised and accepted that operating standards and practices across the whole dealership must be truly customer focussed. They understand that words on a piece of paper mean nothing unless the words are brought to life through the behaviours, skills and competencies of all colleagues. We believe that customers may forget what you said, they may forget what you did but they never forget how you made them feel.
So, don’t spend all your time trying to turn the numbers around, get out there and turn the people in your team around and they will turn the numbers around for you. The result is highly satisfied customers that want to buy again and are happy to recommend you to family and friends.
Our Automotive Sales Foundation training is designed to provide a clear understanding of the customer experience framework to maximise profitability whilst achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction and retention.