Wednesday, June 26, 2019

It's Time to Take Your Customer Service to the Next Level

Providing excellent customer service isn’t just a good business practice, it’s required if you want to get a significant leg up on your competition in today’s market; particularly considering that 89% of consumers have switched to a competitor following a poor customer experience.(1) Customer service has the ability to either make or break your business - plain and simple - and customer expectations are ever-rising with 54% of all consumers say that they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago.(2) So, when you think about it, are you really offering your customers one of a kind service? Even if you are, there’s always room for improvement and we have a few tips to take your customer care to the next level - it’s not as hard as you might think.

Be Personal (Online and in Person) - Today, personalization is key in business and there is access to more consumer data than ever before. Use this data to your advantage so you can get to know your customers on a deeper level and augment their experience based on the information you find. In-person encounters at your dealership will always be considered “personal”, but try taking them to the next level by being polite, authentic, and addressing your consumers by name when you get the chance. Although Chick-fil-A is considered a fast-food restaurant, they always make their patrons feel valued by treating them as people and not a number/sale. The company is known across the country for their customer service and treat the term “My Pleasure” as a way of life. Don’t forget to personalize your service over the phone and through live chat as well. Your customers want to feel valued and appreciated however they choose to contact you.

Provide Insider Tips and Advice - Customers come to your dealership to either browse or purchase a unit, but it’s important to keep in mind that you have the opportunity to take the relationship to the next level. We encourage you to share any advice or insider tips you might have with your customers. Remember, you are the expert. Feel free to share your favorite road trips, national parks, maintenance tips, etc. Customer service isn’t just about making a transaction, it’s designed to build relationships with customers so they will come back for more.

Go the Extra Mile - Consumers expect great customer service - so why not surprise them with a little something extra? is an online marketplace for pet supplies and they are widely known for their excellent customer service. Chewy takes their customer service the extra mile by surprising select customers with custom dog portraits with their purchase - at no additional cost. These portraits have been shared across social media and customers go crazy for them. You might be wondering what this has to do with your dealership - stay with us. After a customer buys an RV from your dealership, you could implement Chewy’s idea in a similar way. Try sending your customer a gas gift card after their purchase saying something like, “Dear, ____. This road trip is on us. We hope you are loving your new RV and we greatly appreciate your business.” We suggest including your contact information as well should they have any questions or concerns about their new RV. Another cost-effective idea could be sending customers swag from your dealership (water bottles, pens, etc.) so they can rep your brand and feel like a valued customer at the same time.

Be a Good Listener - Listening to your customer is crucial for excellent customer service. You might think you know exactly what they need, but let them express their needs when it comes to buying an RV - after all, this is a large purchase. It’s important to guide them along the way and to be their resident expert after they’ve expressed their non-negotiables. We know it’s important to make the sale, and if you’ve had a specific unit on your lot for a while, it can be tempting to push that RV - but hear your customer out to make sure you’re helping them find exactly what they are looking for.

Look for Ways to Improve - Even if your customer service is top notch, there is always room for improvement. A great way to find areas of your business to improve is through customer surveys. We suggest sending out a survey after a customer has purchased their RV so you can understand their experience on a deeper level. We recommend asking questions like this:
  • How would you rate your experience with our dealership?
  • Are you satisfied with your purchase?
  • How could we improve your experience with our dealership?
  • What could our employees do better? etc.
Survey Monkey lets you design your own questionnaire and create unlimited surveys for free. You can even include incentives for completing the survey, like a percentage off your next purchase or entrance into a giveaway.

Training - We recommend making customer service training a requirement at your dealership. There are a ton of online customer service training options out there or you can create your own custom workshop at your dealership. In between training, you could also share a customer service tip of the day during meetings or post them on a bulletin board in your break room. Make customer service part of your company’s overall mission and make sure your employees are all on the same page when it comes to providing top-notch customer care.

Going the extra mile with the customer service you provide doesn’t have to be difficult. Making small adjustments and improvements can go a long way in building customer loyalty and can help ensure sales for years to come. Keep in mind, Americans will pay 17% more to do business with firms with great reputations when it comes to customer service.(3) How does your customer care set you apart from the competition?

1 Harris Interactive
2 Microsoft
3 American Express

Trader Online Web Developer

Friday, June 7, 2019

Investing in Your Employees

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business and finding the right team members for your dealership isn’t always easy. On top of that, according to Human Resources Today, turnover can cost your dealership anywhere from 16% to 213% of your past employee’s salary. That’s why it’s increasingly important to let your employees know you value their work by investing in them both personally and professionally. We’ll dive into four different ways you can strategically nurture your employee relationships to avoid turnover and increase overall productivity and success in the workplace.

Increase Training - Onboard training is pretty standard - but are you offering additional training to current team members? It’s important to continually provide opportunities for training and educational workshops to show employees that you value their current expertise and want to help them grow and expand their skill set. There are always new and improved techniques to try - especially in the sales world - and the more you equip your employees with the latest and greatest, the more they can help your dealership thrive. We’d recommend hosting the trainings specific to your dealership yourself, but then leveraging an online solution for more general training. There are even some free options - like these from RAIN Group. No matter how you choose to source this information - we’d suggest developing a library that your reps can reference as needed, in addition to continually adding new programming for them to leverage.

Invest in Technology and Tools - Help your employees help you by offering them the tools and technology they need to better do their jobs. According to the Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index, “3 out of 4 respondents say their employers don’t give them access to the latest technology to do their job efficiently.” When employees are not equipped with proper technology and tools, they can become discouraged and unmotivated to do their best work. Not sure what your employees might need? Start an honest and open conversation. It will help you in the future - trust us. A few top resources that we recommend would be:

  • Tableau makes it easy for your sales team to see and understand your dealership’s data by automatically turning numbers into visual charts and graphs.
  • Wistia gives you the power to record your webcam or screen so you can conduct an online demo or record an online presentation to share with your team.
  • FullStory gives you a better understanding of what potential buyers are doing on your site by recording every visitor’s session on your website.

Encourage and Allow Feedback - Feedback, both good and bad, can help make a business stronger in the long run. That’s why it’s crucial to give your employees the opportunity to make their voices heard. This could be in the form of an anonymous survey or an open forum at a dealership meeting - though you will most likely get the most honest feedback if you let the employee maintain their anonymity. No matter how you receive the feedback, avoid getting defensive when suggestions or issues come in and be sure to hear your employees out fully before responding. By eliciting feedback, you’re giving your team members the opportunity to share their feelings, shed light on problems, and make the workplace better all around. We recommend doing these surveys on a quarterly basis so you are keeping a pulse on morale throughout the year. These don’t need to be extensive surveys - just enough to let your employees know you care about their experience with your company.

There’s No I in Team - It’s easy to have a lone wolf mentality when working in sales. But it’s still crucial to make sure your employees feel like a team and that’s why giving your employees the opportunity to come together is so important. A study by the Kenexa Research Institute found that companies with highly engaged employees achieve twice the net annual income of companies whose employees aren’t engaged. Team building activities are so important to businesses - both large and small. They help to engage and retain employees by improving communication and encouraging collaboration. Host a happy hour, set up a scavenger hunt, or participate in a community service project as a team - the opportunities are endless - and keep in mind, you don’t have to do something overly extravagant. No matter what you choose your employees will appreciate your efforts.

We hope these tips have encouraged you to find new ways to invest in your employees. After all, they are the ones who have helped make your dealership what it is today. If you’re looking for more employee-focused tips, check out our previous blog covering the importance of Employee Appreciation. Do you have any tried and true methods of investing in your employees? Let us know your suggestions in the comments below.
Trader Online Web Developer